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Title: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II (Complete, Comments welcome)
Post by: AlphaMirage on 29 April 2018, 22:35:20
This is a teaser as I've actually started working on new material rather than expanding previously written scenes (which is so much harder than writing new things)

Picks up right where we left Yvonne off in Katherine, White Wolf of Ragnarok

The Third Transfer

11/14/3067 04:18 Location – Verdant Manor, Minette, Federation Outback

A fit and handsome man with black hair and light smile was poised on the cliff edge at dawn, rising sun at his back, “Goodbye...Sunshine,” with that he jumped off the six story cliff into oblivion. 

Grand Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion woke with a start to the pre-dawn darkness gasping as she felt toward the now empty and cold portion of the bed.  She grabbed at her beating heart, breathing deeply, her week had been haunted by that moment, “Damn you Nik, I trusted you with my life but couldn't trust you with my brother's.  You too Katherine, you gave me the best man in my life,” her voice turned to anguish, “and forced me to kill him.” 

She cried into her already tear stained pillow, “Why wouldn't you let me pull the trigger?  Could I have done it?  I'll never know now.  You didn't need to do that, if you really loved wouldn't have forced me to.  Was it all an act?  You and Katherine just playing with me this whole time. Did she ever really care?  All I ever wanted to do was be like her, and now I hate myself for it.”

Yvonne looked over at the clock, 08:28, and just watching it as another two minutes passed and the alarm blared.  With a quick swipe of her hand she swatted it away the white plastic shell breaking on the warmed wooden floor, silencing its screeching tone.  She dressed and looked at herself in the mirror this week had aged her and something that was there before was now gone but she nevertheless put on a brave face, brushed her hair, and got ready.

Victoria ran up to her and hugged her leg, “Morning Aunt Yvonne.”  Yvonne gave her a great hug and carried the little girl over to the table putting her into her chair and sat across from Peter.  A plate of eggs, sausage, and toast was set along with a hot cup of tea and she felt part of a family again after so long.  Peter and his family had moved into one of the wings of her house, the wing was much larger than the residence they were renting and far more secure.  Daphne demanded she put a fence along the ridge before Victoria arrived.  It had already claimed one life but her sister-in-law didn't know exactly who had fallen or why.

That event was the talk of the town and while it was under investigation The Grand Duchess had furloughed her staff for two weeks as trusted Marshals followed them seeing whether or not there were more of Katherine's agents in her household.  Nikolai had been a good instructor and these Marshals excellent at their assigned task.  Their initial reports returned with no suspicion the staff were anyone other than they claimed to be.  She wasn't surprised, Katherine had apparently been quite secure that her agent was not only extremely trusted but was always close, frequently in the same bed.  Why send another?

Yvonne had thought Katherine was keeping an eye on her for safety but had come to the realization that it cut both ways.  Except her older sister was much further away and this was her ****** world.  She was a March Lord now and the Archon-Princess only had so many agents she could trust, there were significantly stronger threats to her older sister's reign on Robinson and New Syrtis. Her control and influence over the Federated Suns was weak even in the best of times and it was weakened even more in the Outback. 

She certainly wouldn't expect her little sister to suddenly stand up to her after this long.  Ever since their father died she had been more mother than sister and things started to come together as the years of nostalgia were burned away layer by layer.  Like a wildfire it was a painful but necessary part of the cycle.  At times she looked back and couldn't believe it had gone on for so long, but then again she hadn't much a choice in most of those matters.  She was just another pawn in Katherine's game but she was one move from checkmate if she needed to act.

It was Katherine's move now. 

As she finished her breakfast she noticed Peter looking at her, he knew something really terrible had happened but was unaware of all the facts. Instead he was waiting for her to say it.  Despite the fact that he was her brother she still couldn't read him, they hardly shared anything in common.  The entire story of how he came back to her was a fascinating tale and she hadn't believed it at first even Daphne hadn't been sufficient to make her believe all of it until she saw it in all of them.

Daphne and Victoria left them to go for an early morning walk in the woods, the nearly three year old was always excited to go for a walk as the woods outside were in full color.  A picture of her and Nik when they moved into this manor adorned one of the walls of the dining room and it pulled at Yvonne's heart but she hadn’t the strength to remove it yet.  Peter noticed her paying too much attention to the picture, “Yvonne what’s the matter?  Every morning you look at that picture with tears in your eyes.  Who is that man?”

“I'm sorry Peter, I loved that man, but he left me last week.” She choked up, “I...killed...him.”

Peter wrapped on of his arms around her hoping Daphne and Victoria wouldn’t come back while this conversation was happening, “What do you mean you killed him!?”

“He was one of Katherine's agents and if you took me back eight days and he gave me a ring I would have married him on the spot that's how much I loved him.  He knew too much though he would have figured out who you were and told her.  I was afraid she might do something to hurt you or your family so I confronted him but he jumped off the cliff rather than letting me shoot him and that moment has haunted me every night since then.”

“My god, I’m so sorry Yvonne, I don’t know what to say.”

“Why didn’t he let me do it Peter?”

Peter wanted desperately to escape this situation.

Yvonne’s eyes were like waterfalls now, her tone strangled by emotion, “Why?!”

He knew the answer but it gnawed at him until he snapped, “Because he didn’t want you to become a murderer Yvonne!  Once you kill someone there’s no going back!  It sticks with you, forever a stain on your soul.  Trust me I know.”

Yvonne was surprised by the tone, her voice low, “What do you mean?”

“Sit down.”  She did so sitting back at the table quickly followed by Peter, “Oh god I hope Daphne and Vicky don’t come back while I’m telling you this Yvonne.  I need you to swear not to tell them.”

“Do it!”
“I swear I won’t tell them Peter.”
“That will have to work.  Do you know what happened on Lyons while I was there?”
“An accidental explosions started the fire that killed Bellerive.  The BattleROMs proved it wasn’t your fault.”
“That’s not what really happened. Oh God I’ve only told the truth of this twice before and Brother Giles said it would get easier but Heaven help me if that’s not the case.”

“I killed them,

I killed them all,

And it felt great.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer
Post by: Kasaga on 30 April 2018, 06:15:57
Ooh this is good writing.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer
Post by: DOC_Agren on 30 April 2018, 08:36:50
I like it and looking forward to hearing more of Peter
Title: Re: The Third Transfer
Post by: David CGB on 30 April 2018, 14:11:16
I like it and looking forward to hearing more of Peter
quite more please
Title: Re: The Third Transfer
Post by: AlphaMirage on 30 April 2018, 15:20:27
11/29/3055 Office of the Archon-Prince, Triad, Tharkad

“Victor your brother is here,” Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion had the TV in his office tuned into INN with the sound off but the intercom interrupted his reams of paperwork.  “Send him in Vince.”

“Right away sir”

Peter Steiner-Davion was a mess as he stumbled into the Archon's office, he was out of uniform with a three day old beard, greasy hair, black eye, and glazed over look.  He only wore an undershirt and pants, was missing his left boot, and his belt was undone. “What the hell Peter!”

“Screw you, you're all high and mighty up here.  You don't understand...”  Peter said with a slur

Victor went over to his little brother and forced him to sit in the chair, “Dammit Peter!  I don't know what the hell your problem is! but you are causing problems for me.  You need to get over yourself.”

The Archon-Prince walked over to his desk and keyed the intercom, “Vince get me a black coffee and bottle of water with some fizzies.”

“Yes sir, be back in five”

“That's all I am to you aren't I brother? Just a problem.”

“Right now you ****** are a problem, I would have sent you to New Avalon already to be Kat's problem if I wasn't afraid that you'd be prowling NAIS for Yvonne's friends.  Maybe Galen's magic fist has to hit you in your dome as well for you to start thinking straight.  I'll tell him to wear gloves this time in case you're extra dense, he broke three knuckles when he hit me.  Hell I don't know what you need but we can't keep going on like this Peter.  What was her name this time?”


Vincent arrived with a steaming cup of coffee and a bottle of water with a set of fizzy tablets for hangover headaches.  Victor motioned to put them on the table and the young man did, “Vince find this Margaret and offer her the standard shush deal.  Start with one year tuition and go all the way up to a full ride with hiring preference if you have to.” 

Victor glared at his little brother, “Figure out if he broke anything too...I doubt he remembers.” 

“Yes sir,”
the man quickly left to fulfill his duties

“I didn't break anything”

“Yeah, yeah sure you didn't. Let me see your hands.”
Victor pried one of the heavily calloused fists from the chair and pulled a splinter out of the meat of his brother's hand flicking it away, “didn't break anything huh?  Look Peter I know mom's death”

“Assassination! on Live TV!  With a bomb!”

“Death! deeply affected you.  I am pissed too and if I had the assassin in custody right now I'd let Loki get real creative with the torture, just like they keep asking me to.  I'd feel bad about it but I'd get over it. However I cannot have my brother, an officer in the AFFC, and Prince of the Federated Commonwealth continue to be a raging drunken letch that prowls the University of Tharkad for undergrads.  This needs to change or I am going to banish you with just enough money to get into trouble but not enough to get out of it.”

Victor triggered the INN news-feed from the Skye March, “Today's top news, Anti-Davion and Free Skye protesters nearly overran the Militia Barracks on Lyons today, only repelled by the militia and internal security forces.  Sixteen people were killed and hundreds injured after a Copper SecurityMech and riot police opened fire with rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd who were throwing Molotovs and stones, while wielding sticks and shields to face down the militia.”

“See your problems are small Peter.  I can't go there but I need to send someone I can trust to fix this problem.  It's either you or Katherine and Galen now that they will be a package deal.”

Peter woke up a little bit after drinking the coffee but snorted out a quick word, “What?”

“Galen has the ring he's going to give it to her at the Christmas Ball.”

“You're okay with your best friend ****** our sister?”

“Watch your mouth Peter.  I don't think of it that way.  I already consider Galen a brother, he hasn't disappointed me yet,”
Victor stared at the mess of his actual brother, “I can't think of a more honorable and capable man for Katherine to marry, the fact that she agrees is as much as testament of her good judgement as my faith in him.”

“Well then why don’t you just bring in your ringers Victor?”

Victor grabbed his little brother by the collar lifting him from the chair which caused the water bottle to fall off the table and spray fizzy water across the stone floor.  He could still smell the alcohol on Peter’s breath and wrinkled his nose at the odor but persisted with a menacing tone. “Peter!  I can’t go and fix this problem and I need someone I can trust to do it for me.  Katherine and Galen have plenty on their plate already running the Suns and Sarna March.  If I send for them it will make you and I look weak which will make this problem worse.  So you have to man up and deal with this; or tell me flat out that you are incapable of performing your duties.  Can you pull your shit together and solve this problem or do I need to call them in!?”

“I can do it.”

“You better not be lying to me Peter because I swear on our mother’s grave that I will banish you if you ****** this up.  This is the real deal now.  We are in charge or we aren’t and people will die regardless of whether or not we fix this so the stakes are high.  Can you do it?”

“Dammit Victor I can, just give me the mission and I will go out there and do it.”

“You leave for Lyons tomorrow; understand Kommandant Steiner-Davion?”

“Yes sir”

Victor pushed his brother away who only just barely caught the top of the chair to maintain his balance and avoid falling on the stone floor, “Good, get the hell out of here Peter; and for god’s sake get a shower and shave.”

As Peter departed back to the hands of the Royal Guard that had posted his bail and escorted him back to the Triad to be taken to his room.  Victor looked back at the pre-recorded video from yesterday that had just come in over the HPG and was now being broadcast on INN, “Fourteen dead in the car bombing of a security convoy on Alexandria claimed by Free Skye.  This attack is among the largest in the recent uprising and raises the year to date death toll to 170,458.  All signs indicate that a long term conflict is brewing that might require an end of Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion’s benevolent internal agenda as options begin to narrow even as the Clan threat still looms over the Commonwealth. 

All eyes are on Tharkad and its young Princes to bring a swift end to the troubles.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 03 May 2018, 01:17:22
12/16/3055 20:18 Location – Castle Davion, New Avalon, Federated Commonwealth

The New Avalon Christmas Ball was one of the largest social events on the Federated Suns capitals and frequently the stage used for major events in the Davion family.  Today was no different the ballroom was brightly lit from chandeliers and wreathes hung from the walls next to tapestries that bore the planetary seals of all the top worlds and March Capitals of the Federated Commonwealth.  The atmosphere was jovial and far lighter than any party on Tharkad.  Once everyone was assembled Galen Cox stood next to Princess Katherine and asked for a microphone, Arthur and Yvonne Steiner-Davion came out from the side dressed to the nines in order to deliver it to him.  Katherine was surprised by their appearance but hugged her brother and sister, “Arthur what are you doing here?  You said you couldn't make it for Christmas.  Yvonne you have finals.”

“I made sure he would show up Katherine.  I already took all my finals, they were easy.”

“What's going on?”

Yvonne pointed to behind her, “Why don't you ask him”

Katherine turned around and saw Galen on one knee with a ring box in one hand and she trembled, “Princess Katherine Steiner-Davion, will you marry me?”

She was rendered speechless and put her hand over her mouth as he opened the ring box inside which was an intricately crafted red and white gold engagement ring.  “Yes! A million times Yes Galen!” 

Galen put the ring on her finger and they shared a long kiss and embrace even as the cameras were recording.  Galen and her worked the whole dance floor that night like there were no others present, her golden blonde hair and blue dress complimented his blue and silver Lyran dress uniform, the ring shone from every angle and was the talk of the ball.  He had gotten much better since their awkward first dance after Victor returned from the clan front to Tharkad nearly five years ago.  She could still smell his cologne even after all these years.

12 Years Later
09:48 Location – Office of the Archon-Princess, The Triad, Tharkad, Federated Commonwealth

Archon-Princess Katherine Steiner-Davion was by herself but didn't feel alone as she was reminiscing about happy moments.  She pulled the old engagement ring out of it's case which also served as the base of the picture of her, Galen, Yvonne, and Arthur at the moment so long ago.  It was the only thing she had left of Galen and she put it up against the platinum and diamond wedding band that currently occupied her right ring finger, matched to the one that Vladimir Ward was supposed to be wearing on his way back to Tamar with Morgan and their sons.  She had no idea whether or not he would ever actually wear it like a “normal” man he preferred to hang it from a chain necklace.  She had tried to “civilize” the wolf, but deep down she liked the primacy of his embrace and the passion and drive that filled him in the present at least he could dance now.
Their dance at this year's Masquerade ball still made her yearn for his touch, but he was light years away by now.

The picture of her, Vlad, Morgan, Alaric, and Siegfried together taken prior to the Final Whitting Conference occupied a similar place of honor on her desk.  She still felt the rage at how the Inner Sphere had spurned her happiness after all these years.  Joining them was one with her, Hanse, Arthur, and Yvonne as young children in Castle Davion and another of a teenage Isadora and her after an endurance ride across Tessera valley.  Thinking about the sunburn still gave Katherine goosebumps, it was so bad at the time that she wore a large hat and long clothes that whole summer to avoid the sun. 

Raising her head from the desk she saw a large collection of presents from across the Commonwealth.  Some of which no doubt cost a small fortune but none of them meant anything to her, she could buy anything in the Inner Sphere except the chance to experience these happy moments once more.  Galen was dead, Isadora long since stopped talking to her, Arthur and Victor dead, Peter gone, Yvonne on the other side of the universe, Vlad and their children on the way back to Wolf space for several months.

She pulled out the latest message from her sister, she was incensed that Katherine would go and get married without inviting her to the ceremony.  Typical Yvonne, she was so cute when angry.  Kat pulled out one of the currently unfilled Wedding invitations, the only thing missing was a date because Vlad and her had to retake Terra before they could get married on it.  It would be magical she still wasn't sure which church she would use but Notre Dame or Cologne were at the top of the list, she had read all about Earth as a child and couldn't wait for the chance to visit. 

Kat whispered to herself, “Just like a mom and dad did.  You'll have a front row seat sister and Isa will get one too and oh no! I don't think I have enough friends to make a full wedding party!  There's still time I guess.”

The phone ringing broke her train of thought, “Yes Vince”

“Archon-Princess, Word of Blake Precentor Martial Cameron St Jamais is on the long range, he's aboard the Blake's Sword en route to Tharkad.  He is demanding to speak with you about the return of the Federated Commonwealth to the Second Star League.”

“Is he now?  He is aware that this is my planet and my Federated Commonwealth that he is attempting to intimidate isn't he!?”

“I can't say Katherine.”

She looked at her extended hand, “Vince this is what I want you to tell the Precentor Martial and use these exact words. 'Go ****** yourself Wobbie! The Archon-Princess will not be intimidated'

Vincent's tone became hesitant, “You can't expect me to tell the Word of Blake's Precentor Martial to ****** himself can you?”
“I expect someone to, after that tell Asgard to go to DEFCON Two and tell the Tharkad SDF to begin evacuations.  After all that I need you to make an appointment with Claire.”
“Claire? Your stylist?”
“At a moment like this?”

Katherine ran her hand through her curly golden blonde hair, “This look is getting a little old.  I am going to be on TV a lot in the next couple of days and want to look my best.”
“Oookay, I will make the appointment.”
“Thank You Vince,”
Katherine hung up the phone and rolled her chair around to look out over the skyline of Tharkad City intertwined her hands. “Looks like there will be fireworks for New Years after all.  You knew it would happen eventually Katherine; but now it's here,

The Fifth and Final Succession War.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 03 May 2018, 03:08:32
Jammies needs a good beating.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 03 May 2018, 16:33:48
01/14/3056 Location – Government House, Clovis’ Point, Lyons, Federated Commonwealth

Governor Paul Cartier, brother of the current CEO of Cartier Chemicals the largest company on the planet, watched the square outside as a crowd gathered bearing signs and chanting slogans on the other side of the Lyons FTM Military Police and private security forces, the local police being too distrusted for this assignment.  His gray work suit was crisp and new, but his complexion was pale and haggard, graying brown hair tousled and unkempt.  Free Skye kept trying to kill him so he spent nearly all of his time at Government House dealing with the various issues at hand, his wife and children safely off-world.  “I don’t know what they want.  I’ve tried everything to stop this insurrection but nothing seems to work.”

Kommandant Peter Steiner-Davion and Colonel Kingsley Gardner stood opposite the glass and metal desk.  “They feel abandoned by Tharkad that’s why I am here after all.”

“I’m sorry Prince Peter but I don’t think that’s the case.  This is the action of vandals and hoodlums.” 

He slammed a fist onto the desk, “Of course the mining quotas have to increase and the farms need to export more. We are in a war!  People are going to have to work harder and suffer slightly.  The Clans and Kurita are still out there bruised, but nursing their grudges like lost loves.  We lost a quarter of our most productive worlds and the Commonwealth needs the foundries on Lyons running four shifts a day to replace the lost production not even to get ahead.  The Tamar Pact refugees are just as necessary I don’t care that the Lyonians don’t like them, they are Commonwealth citizens and lost everything escaping the Clans.  Austerity is just something they will have to deal with for now, there is nothing I can do.  All of the extra money is going to the Free Worlds League of all places to make up for the factories lost. 

Hell Victor has General Adam Steiner on a promotional tour to sell War Bonds instead of on the front line where he belongs.  Your brother fought for them and then they have the gall to slander him; as if he would kill his own mother.  Ungrateful peasants! There is too much at stake for these distractions.”

Colonel Gardner stepped forward he was wearing the standard urban camouflage uniform without insignia just like Peter and any other soldier to not attract attention from the assassins and sharpshooters that seemingly lurked around every corner.  “Sir we are doing everything we can.  My men can handle this situation before it escalates.”

“I hope to God you’re right Colonel because I think this is just getting started and it is going to get a lot uglier before it gets better.”
  The sound of fireworks and small bombs exploding hit the office windows as the crowd surged into the riot police, “There they go again.  You two had better get to your mechs before it gets messy.”

Meanwhile a pair of individuals stood slightly away from the chaos as the protesters fought with security forces.  Molotov cocktails, rocks, and paint bombs were thrown at security personnel who responded with water cannons, pepper spray, and impact rounds from shotguns.  Multiple melees between street toughs and riot cops with clubs and staves had broken out throughout the line. 

Of the pair one was carrying a camera and the other had her back to the scene the microphone just barely picking her strong voice out of the blaring of sirens, clash of clubs on armor, shouts, and loud music, “This is Linette Turner with Lyons Planetary News.  Coming to you live from the Government House in Clovis’ Point where protesters and security forces are currently engaged in a fierce melee after an up to now peaceful gathering to protest Governor Cartier’s latest budget.  This budget dramatically slashed education as well as fuel and food subsidies in order to fund a massive infrastructure program in order to meet his export quotas.”

A light blue and dark gray Thunderbolt 9S and Crusader 3R as well as two Copper SecurityMechs walked out from beneath Government House.  The heavy mechs were the largest ones on world; the Lyons FTM despite having a full regiment of mechs was almost entirely composed of bugs, Commandos, and Coppers with a few lightweight mediums and miscellaneous lights mixed in.  Anything larger had been pulled to serve on the Clan Front while the AFFC awaited shipments from the Free Worlds League to replace their massive losses.  “Shit! We should move Linette, they’re bringing out the big guns to break this up.”

She turned and pushed her brown hair away from her face, “No Adrian, you just keep rolling.  We’re here already, Derek wants the news so we’re going to give it to him no matter what.”
“You are crazy woman, do you want to get yourself killed.”
“Relax it was only tear gas and a night in jail last time.”
“Only tear gas and a night in jail, yeah nothing to worry about.”

The appearance of the Mechs hushed the crowd and they separated themselves from the Riot Police who reformed their shield wall.  The crowd chanted, “Down with Davion!  Kick out Cartier!  Free Skye!”

The PA from the Crusader crackled to life simulcast from the large speakers on the police trucks, “This is Colonel Kingsley Gardner, this demonstration is over, disperse or you will all face prosecution for rioting.”

The riot cops hit their batons on their shields as they pressed forward letting out a loud Ho-Whoop! in unison attempting to intimidate the protestors.  The sound echoed against the buildings and filled the square with a bassy thump. 

The protest ringleaders stood defiant, most of them had already put on wetted bandanas or industrial grade gas masks to blunt the effect of tear gas and pepper spray.  They started drumming on their makeshift shields and anything nearby with their own clubs which created a tinny cacophony set against the ordered press of the police.  With a rebel yell they crashed back into the shield wall, eager for a fight.

Prince-Kommandant Peter Steiner-Davion watched the fight from the Thunderbolt’s cockpit, shaking his head as best he could from under the olive drab Doering Electronics High Performance Neurohelmet that was still quite large, “Is it always like this Colonel?”

“Afraid so Peter.  Vektor Three and Four circle around.  I’ve already notified emergency services to bring in the decontamination and casualty team.”

The Coppers walked around to the flanks of the melee watching carefully where they stepped; last time the protesters almost tripped one of the mechs up with thick cables tied to trucks and almost overran the cockpit only stopped by it's partners judicious use of rubber bullets from the twin machine guns.  “On three, launch CS.”

Peter keyed in on his weapon console and selected the TharHes Maxi SRM-6 launcher above his left shoulder, opening the firing stud built into his control sticks.  He took a deep breath, this was going to be an even harder assignment than he feared.  On three 22 missiles with a payload of tear gas were launched into the melee and a dense white cloud obscured vision, in his thermal sights Peter could see some people dropping and being pulled back, others were trampled, many continued to fight being protected by mining grade gas masks, some cops had their gas masks pulled off and had to be dragged back by their fellows.

Linette and Adrian kept the camera rolling the entire time but were eventually overcome by the drifting CS gas and rushed over to the ambulance.  Regular police showed up with the other emergency services and were reluctantly put to the task of rounding up rioters and booking them for transport into the larger police vans.  One of the black and gold uniformed officers walked up to the journalists with cuffs in hand, “You both are under arrest for rioting on the orders of Colonel Gardner.”

Linette looked at the man with undisguised contempt her hair and face was damp from the water the paramedics had run to flush her eyes out, “What!  We’re press. Here are our badges.” She handed the officer their press passes, “We have our entire time here on tape and we didn’t participate in this riot.”
“I’m also going to need to impound your camera.”
“With all due respect officer, hands off our equipment, we have rights.  We have already sent our tape to LPN.  You will find that we are quite innocent.”
“Perhaps, but you can either cooperate or I will have to book you for resisting arrest as well.”
“I will not ask again miss”

Three days later Linette was released from the overcrowded city jail her short brown hair was oily and her regular clothes still had the smell of CS in them that made her eyes water.  Adrian had to serve another week for possession of a controlled substance that he swore was planted on him.  The camera was held in the evidence locker until their case was dismissed likely sometime long in the future and she waited outside on metal bench for Derek to pick her up.  The beat up LPN news van showed up in front of the jail and Derek, an early thirties man with a neatly trimmed beard who typically wore a suit was today dressed in casual clothes, he got out of the van and gave her a hug. 
“I’m sorry Linette but they pulled my license while you were in jail.  We’re off the air.”
“What!  Why?”
“Aiding and abetting a separatist movement according to the Communications Board.  Governor Cartier has blackballed most of the small stations for the same thing.”
“Bastard!  What are we going to do Derek?  The University is closed, I can’t go home, and without the money you give me I don’t have anything.”
“Well there is an option.”
“No!  You can’t seriously be considering that.”
“I’m running out of options.”
“There has to be a better way. Please don’t do it!  You might be killed or put in jail for a long time.”
“I know!  I know!  But it might soon be the only thing left.”
“Please don’t do it, think of Janice.”
“I am!  That’s the only reason I haven’t joined yet.  Cartier has to be stopped and we can’t do it with just a broadcast truck.”
“We just need some time.  Maybe this will blow over and things will go back to normal.”
“I don’t know.  Look let’s get moving.  You can still stay at my place but girl you need a shower bad.  Rent is paid for a few more months but we are going to need to hustle if things stay like this.”
“We can do it, we have to”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 04 May 2018, 04:32:25
Oops... that was not a good option...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 04 May 2018, 15:45:00
11/19/3067 21:19 Location –The Arch Ballroom, Luxen City, Luxen, Magistracy of Canopus

Adonis Valentine (Arthur Steiner-Davion) and Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao are sitting at one of the many richly appointed tables laid out in the Ballroom after a long, at times loud, and very drunken wedding ceremony.  Sun-Tzu was not a heavy drinker and the baijui (strong rice wine) was taking effect as he had to drink with all the men in the wedding party in proper Chinese tradition.  However most of them were Death Commandos or Ebon Magistrate operatives and thus dull conversationalists even though they had to have some great stories. 

Thus Adonis was forced to listen to his drunken ramblings and in doing so decided that Sun-Tzu was truly mad but did make a bit of sense eventually.  He didn’t try to speak the Chinese that he had been learning since being “rescued,” but it didn’t look like the Magistracy and Confederation were breaking up anytime soon and it never hurt to know what the other guy was saying.  Mostly he kept trying to escape but was always pulled back in by Erdê who was watching him like a hawk during her sister’s wedding. 

Both men were looking good even by Magistracy standards in their formal red and gold outfits while Erdê and her sister, the bride Naomi, as well as their mother Emma were busy doing whatever it is that women did together. “I’m telling you my sister is the crazy one.”

Arthur had a few to many as well and wasn’t thinking straight so he wasn’t quite sure if Sun-Tzu was referring to Naomi and Erdê or Kali and Katherine.  “Not even close, I have you beat in spades.”

“You know she tried to kill me.”

That didn’t narrow it down.  “Mine did the same thing.”
“No way, look at you.  Why would she want to do that?”
  It was the most awkward embrace that Arthur had ever been a partner to, “I love you man.”

Naomi mercifully saved him with her reappearance as Sun-Tzu looked her way, she was truly stunning in her red and gold qipao the colors of which contrasted nicely with her light brown skin, “Oh look at you two, you’re getting along so well.”  Erdê was right behind her dressed in a pink dress similar to her sister but Emma was no longer with them.

Arthur made a particularly desperate look to his girlfriend while Naomi helped Sun-Tzu stand.  “You two have been going non-stop since early this morning.  Don’t you think it’s time to get a little rest?  I don’t know how much more partying your husband can take.”
“He’ll develop a tolerance, he’s married to me now after all.  Baby, do you want to go to space and start our honeymoon early?”

His words came out in an uncharacteristic slur, “Let’s shoot for the stars.”
“I’ll make sure you get there in no time.”

The Liao portion of the wedding party had been worn out and Arthur wasn’t up for another round with the Canopians so he left with Erdê shortly after the Bride and Groom.  The two of them took the limo back to the penthouse on the other side of town where they lived.  Arthur was no stranger to long nights having been effectively a Canopian citizen for years now and a constant companion to one of its Princesses but he still stumbled his way up the ramp eventually finding his way to the black leather couch in the living room portion of the apartment.  “Babe, I don’t think I can make it upstairs.  I’m not feeling so hot.”

Erdê walked up to him looking rather judgmental, “All these men from the Inner Sphere are always looking to party with Canopian women but can’t hang with them for even a full night.  Tsk, Tsk.”

“You just caught me on a bad night.  I can do better.”

“I know you can Arthur, let me get you a blanket and the trash can in case you get sick.”

“Thanks, you’re the best.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 06 May 2018, 19:24:21
12/16/3067 14:47 THT (Terran Harmonized Time) Location – Aboard McKenna Battleship WOBS Blake’s Sword, 6 days from Tharkad, Federated Commonwealth

Word of Blake Precentor Martial Cameron St Jamais was still fuming mad after receiving the flippant transmission from Archon-Princess Katherine Steiner-Davion.  Precentor William Blane had attempted to get him to listen to “reason” but the time for talk was over.  Cameron had spaced the old man in his fury so none other dared challenge him.  As far as the others were concerned he was the instrument of the Master’s will. 

A full Army of Word of Blake Militia initially tasked with supporting Clan Front forces had received new orders and were now en route to the Lyran Capital.  Joining this fleet of dropships were the McKenna battleship Blake’s Sword, Tharkad battlecruister Invincible, Essex destroyers Dawning Horizon and Hidden Meaning, as well as the Dante frigates Perdition and Salvation all now tasked with bringing that arrogant and treacherous woman to heel in order to “unite” the Inner Sphere once more into the Second Star League.  “When the Master decreed death to Clanners he meant every one of them, She-Wolf.  The Third Transfer and the unification of mankind under the Will of Blake will not be undone by your decision.”

Katherine's HPG to Vladimir

Vladimir my love,
The Word of Blake has sent an attack fleet toward Tharkad.  I am a Clan Warrior and will prevail or fall but I am a mother as well.  I need to tell you to save our children first.  You must not come back, keep them safe if I fall.  I will come to you when the time is right but they will seek us out and show no mercy should they find us.


12/18/3067 07:59 Location – The Triad, Tharkad, Federated Commonwealth

Katherine Steiner-Davion paced in her office, the city of Tharkad was a flurry of motion behind her, but it was always the waiting that was the worse.  She stopped a moment and tapped her blue-gray fingernails along her white neuro-helmet with an artistic wolf's head painted around it that was placed on the table before her.  Her short ash blonde hair blended with the light grey jumpsuit she wore. “What is the status of the evacuation General?”

General Duchess Gionavva Mellandra, Commander of the 1st Royal Guards, was in charge of the operation although Tharkad Self-Defense Force personnel were actually implementing her commands.  Her and Richard Regis II, CO of the 2nd RG, were both wearing the working uniforms of the Royal Guards, Blue and Gold Fatigues as they needed to return to Asgard swiftly after the conclusion of this little meeting.
“The evacuation is proceeding as planned, it is fortunate I suppose that we practiced this particular plan earlier.  Although we expected Jade Falcons not the Word of Blake.”

The mention of Word of Blake caused a slight tic in the man sitting in one of the leather chairs in the office, his uniform's white half-cape draping over one of the arms.  His current Division, which guarded Tharkad's HPG transmitter, had suffered mighty on Tukayyid to the Wolves under Kerensky although he was not a veteran of that conflict he was formerly of the nearly eliminated 208th Division that was part of the massive Operation:BULLDOG that took the fight to save the Inner Sphere all the way to the Clan Homeworlds. 
“Precentor as a representative of COMSTAR and thus best equipped to determine the motivation of your wayward fellows.  Do you think Cameron St Jamais is just posturing or does he truly mean to attack Tharkad?”

There were some other veterans of the Clan Invasion within the room from both sides, Dag and Wolf Tau Galaxy Commander Nowa Vickers, a REVIVAL and Refusal War veteran that had fought the 208th on Tukayyid, had exchanged many glares when he arrived, the Wolf was on her best behavior however that didn't mean she wasn't primed for a fight with the Precentor if her offered one.  He cleared his throat not used to being in quite this rarefied company, “I'm afraid that I can't know.  Cameron St Jamais is an unknown quantity, most of his earlier work is classified as it was for ROM. Has he sent you any other demands?”

Katherine shook her head, “No”

“Then I think he means to attack Tharkad.  Greater threat to the Word be damned.”

Richard, the CO of the 2nd Royal Guards, spoke up from where he stood near General Mellandra, “But he'll be destroyed, we have five veteran RCT equivalent forces on world.  His militia can't consist of anything that can challenge us on our home turf.”

“I don't think he cares General.  This is principle, you may be shocked but there are many within COMSTAR, even post-Tukayyid and those that didn't serve on BULLDOG or SERPENT, that are surprised and quite angry with your secret relationship with the Wolves.  I will be completely honest and say that I'm not even sure how I feel about it yet.”  He once more glanced at the Wolf Galaxy Commander that stood nearby looking increasingly annoyed with the Guardsman.

Katherine gripped her neuro-helmet tightly, “I will not be constrained by their concerns Precentor.  I am trying to eliminate the threat posed by the Jade Falcons but new threats keep presenting themselves.  If you will not actively pledge to aid me in the coming battle then you best leave, we will do it ourselves.”

Precentor Kesselrig stood up bowed and walked out of the room past the Lyran Intelligence Corps Director General Alicia Savinson who had been standing there the entire time.  He hardly paid her any attention which was not the usual reaction when people saw the tall, beautiful, and dangerous woman that was a mirror of an older Katherine.  The door closed behind him and he walked out with a group of COMGUARD soldiers escorted by the Royal Guard.  General Savinson relaxed ever so slightly but took her hand off the pearl handled Desert Eagle, given to her by Melissa Steiner-Davion, on her belt.

She stepped forward to the roughly equal the others, “That could have gone worse.”

Katherine was still gripping the Neurohelmet on her desk, “ I agree Alicia.  However I want a scout team watching the Sixty-Sixth from now on.  Any updates?”

“Yes Katherine, assuming COMSTAR isn't lying to us which is hardly a given, the Word of Blake has a task force en route to New Avalon with undoubtedly similar intentions heading toward us now.  The Victor's Task Force is in orbit and the whole planet is on alert with additional forces marshaling to their aid.  Outreach has gone dark and Tikonov is remaining vigilant in case the CCAF and Word of Blake try to take it back while we are dealing with this situation.”

“Any updates from my sister?”

“No, Fifth Fleet Admiral Halloway has ordered the FCS Robinson to head to Minette for her protection.  It should be in system within the week.”

Katherine sighed in relief, “Good the last thing I need on my mind is concern for her safety.  Damn these Blakists they seek to attack us while the Hellions lie in wait. General Steiner is getting ready to launch a massive strike into Falcon territory so I can't call for his aid and his mission is the top priority.  I fear this will be a very interesting year.”

General Mellandre tapped something and toggled a table mounted holo-projector displaying the planet of Tharkad as a glowing orb overlaid with force compositions including the Fleet task force overhead, “Indeed it will be Archon-Princess.  Now we must plan what we need to be do before they arrive.”

Katherine leaned forward looking at the glowing orb whose light reflected off her blue eyes throwing her face into sharp relief, “Let them come, they will never leave.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 06 May 2018, 20:17:19
It'll be interesting for Jammies to face a foe who has no nuclear scruples...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Kasaga on 06 May 2018, 22:54:51
Damn I’m loving this.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: marauder648 on 07 May 2018, 04:03:45
Damn good stuff, just caught up with this, firecrackers and buckets of sunshine are going to be deployed.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 07 May 2018, 16:23:29
12/25/3067 01:47 Location – Mjolrnir Battlecuriser FCS Valhalla, Above Tharkad, Federated Commonwealth

Captain Damien Berok was braced in his command chair along with the rest of the bridge crew inside the Valhalla’s primary command center, his XO and others were in secondary facilities ready to take over at a moments notice.  The three dimensional display cylinder in the middle of the bridge as well as the summary screens above each station were illuminated in a faint red light. 

General quarters had already been sounded and the Valhalla and her battle group (Avalon Cruiser FCS Lucien Davion, the Foxes FCS Admiral Corrine Donnings and Kentares, and Eclipse Carrier FCS Donegal plus assault dropships with the organic Aerospace and Gunship support on standby) were maneuvering against the Word of Blake Task Force that was just entering the orbital red zone of Tharkad inside the orbit of it's moon Marsden.  The fleet of Blakist drop-ships took up a large portion of the sensor screen carefully shepherded by their Warships.

“I want everyone at their best, this wasn't my plan I would have fought them past Marsden but Katherine hoped that they would veer off.  That doesn't appear to be the case.  We have one last hail to give before they reach the red zone.”

Damien activated the microphone that was attached to his headband, “This is Captain Damien Berok aboard the FCS Valhalla hailing WOBS Blake's Sword.  You are approaching our final security perimeter.  You have one last chance to avoid this conflict and I advise you to take it.”

A sharp edged female voice responded over the speakers, “This is Demi-Precentor Eva Reyna, XO of the Blake's Sword, we will not be turning back.  Your Archon-Princess will not stand in the way of our goal to reunite mankind under the Second Star League.  The Word of Blake will pull the Commonwealth back kicking and screaming if we must.  Though we will take no pleasure in doing so.”  He switched the channel back to the local network.

“All hands Battle Stations!  Our orders are to let the dropships through, focus on the McKenna.  We were training to fight one anyhow though it was to be in Hellion or Exile colors.  Only use the nukes if we have no other choice.  Get me Admiral Dolin!”

Luftenberg Carrier TSDF Gerthr, Marsden Sea, Tharkad

The massive super-carrier Gerthr was buzzing with activity, the electromagnetic catapults on the flight deck launching a pair of aerospace fighters every two minutes.  Each of these were rapidly filling the air and boosting to sub-orbital patrol zones in order to intercept the Blakist attack force.  Admiral George Dolin, Supreme Commander of the Tharkad SDF’s naval assets, was inside the armored flight control tower overseeing the operations plan beamed directly from Asgard.  The tracking teams were receiving constant updates on incoming contacts and tasked each new flight to intercept.

“Admiral, Captain Berok of the Valhalla is hailing us.”

“Put him through,” The Admiral picked up the phone next to the sorting table.  “Captain Berok this is Armiral Dolin.  What do you need?”

“Admiral I am going to need all of your fighters heading toward the Blake's Sword when it reach the proximity limit.  We'll draw their fire but your fliers need to get past her escorts and punch some holes if we are going to be capable of making a second pass.”

“You just want us to let the dropships land?”

“That's the plan, leave them for the Cruisers and ground forces.  You'll receive an update from Asgard momentarily.  Katherine is going to fight in the defense with the Wolves; The Royal Guards and regular forces are ready as well.  We have to take care of the Warships or they can just come back next time.”

An updated battle plan was received by Flight Control, priority from Asgard.  Admiral Dolin looked over it with the young Lieutenant Commander that sat at that duty station.

“My god! We won't have anyone left for a second chance if it fails.  Commander I want six Alamos readied for fighter deployment.  We have the codes I don't care if they haven't given us explicit authorization yet.  If we do it first the Lucien Davion and its fellow Warships can take down the rest of the battle group in no time.”

“Admiral, unless we have authorization from Asgard you could hang…We could hang.”

“I'm willing to take that chance, it’s a valid target and defeat is not an option, the Word of Blake has attacked a capital world of the Federated Commonwealth and that is bad enough.”
  Admiral Dolin grabbed the intercom, “Attention all hands this is Admiral Dolin, above us is a McKenna Warship, the pride of the Terra Navy, and her escorts all of whom are currently serving the Word of Blake which is seeking to drag the whole of the Commonwealth back into their Second Star League and deny us our freedom of choice. 

I am addressing you because I have not received authorization to use Alamo missiles but I have the codes and if we don't take down that McKenna it can level the whole of Tharkad in a week.  If any among you are uncomfortable using nuclear weapons make your concerns known now and I will surrender the conn to Captain Brattleboro and we will do without.”

Jormundgand Missile Cruiser TSDF Crusher, Bremen Ocean, Tharkad, three hours later

The large missile Cruiser TSDF Crusher cut through the icy green winter waters of the Bremen Ocean three hundred kilometers from Tharkad City.  A pair of smaller Rapier destroyers were escorting it in formation currently a line fore and aft, the only illumination came from the three ships' running lights which barely cut through the freezing mist that coated the deck in a thick rime.  Captain Tyra Apfelholz was closely monitoring the RADAR display that kept the three ships from hitting one another and in formation.  The long range sub-orbital screen was rapidly filling with a fleet of Blakist dropships headed toward the bucolic ocean town of Otisburg, the nearest open space not currently swarming with defense forces, because it was a trap.

She looked up from the sensor screen to see the latest message from Asgard, “Sound the horn and clear the decks.”  Pulling down the PA handset from its overhead console, “All hands this is the Captain speaking, I want all missile crews ready to launch in five.  Damage control on standby, all gun crews report to your positions. General Quarters, General Quarters”

The klaxons blared on the Jormungand and Rapiers as decks were cleared and crews readied themselves for combat.  Four of the eight Vertical Launch Cells flush to the cruiser’s deck slid open to reveal their deadly cargo.  Inside the CIC the XO and Weapons Officers were busy plugging in the fire missions for the Killer Whale missiles currently warming up inside the hull, aiming them at the slowly descending Dropships that were effectively sitting targets for the fifty ton missiles.  “Fire cells one through four!”

Four massive Killer Whale missiles streaked out from the launch cells arcing into the atmosphere toward the dropships a hundred kilometers distant.  A Blakist Overlord was hit with three of them in rapid succession, the heavy missiles tore through the decelerating vessel cutting all the way to it's core and causing it to tumble and break apart in a fiery explosion that scattered it’s wreckage across the snow covered countryside.

Colossus Dropship WOBS Divine Justice, Approaching Otisburg, Tharkad

Precentor Martial Cameron St Jamais was strapped in his battlemech awaiting the go light while monitoring the situation when the Overlord was destroyed.  A Union was blasted by the following volley.  “Blake’s wrath knows no limits Katherine.  You will pay for this transgression.”  He switched over to the regional Battlenet where confusion currently reigned. “First Army of Blake this is Cameron St Jamais.  All Aerospace fighters find those ships and destroy them.  Switch to landing zone Epsilon, we’ll drop right on top of them if we must.”

Meanwhile back aboard the TSDF Crusher, Captain Tyra Apelholz saw the Air Defense screen light up with dozens of inbound contacts some launched from the assault force’s dropships others diving rapidly from the orbital battle that was being waged overhead. “Looks like they found us.  All hands fire at will, do not let them close.  Ready another volley before the dropships get out of range.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 07 May 2018, 18:52:05

Next to Luthorville?  Casa Del Lex, Marina Del Lex?

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 07 May 2018, 23:40:32
12/25/3067 07:58 Location – Tharkad City, Tharkad

It was dawn but no light penetrated through the blizzard that had engulfed the city.  The battle overhead was still being waged mostly by Aerospace fighters attempting to ensure Air Dominance, the Warships engaged in a deadly game of maneuver with neither side taking chances while the ground war was being fought.  The 37th Division of the Word of Blake Militia battled the bitter cold, terrible road conditions, and poor visibility.

Adept Simon Osher and his squad (Level I) of white painted Longinus Battle Armor were riding atop a Chevalier Light Tank currently rolling through a foot of fresh powder along the Autobahn 4 from Olympia to Tharkad City.  Five other tanks rolled along the freeway as well the only sound, that of the tires crushing snow each tank also supported a squad of Longinii on their ferro armor decks. 

Even though his suit had built in heaters and the waste heat generated by the Chevalier’s fusion power plant made it too hot for unarmored infantry to sit atop Simon could still feel the chill outside as the temperature reached -25°C.  He activated his external speakers as they were under radio silence, “We couldn’t invade a tropical planet with nude beaches. No, instead we attack an ice planet in the middle of winter during a blizzard.  Blake's Will right?”

The nearest suits that could hear his jest nodded their helmets in agreement.  The momentary distraction almost caused the tank to hit an obstacle in the road.  The vehicle slowed to a stop in front of the large sign that had been set up in the middle of the road.  The top of which had the Imperial Wolf Ensign which was whipping in the snow filled wind. 

Simon as the squad leader in the point vehicle hopped off to inspect it and saw a picture of a white wolf biting the hand of an unseen figure that had been clasping a broadsword (like the one seen in the Word of Blake flag).  Three lines of text were printed in a large Gothic Font.

“Verboten! (Forbidden)
Hungrige Wölfe voraus (Hungry Wolves Ahead)

The speaker on the Chevalier crackled to life, “What does it say Simon?”

“Its a warning.  All squads hop off. Eyes and ears open, we're being hunted. Charlie-Six frag this slag!”

The large laser fired on the sign causing most of it to melt and Simon pulled the Wolf ensign from it's post.  “Let's put some mad dogs down Lambda.”

“Wolf Creek,” somewhere nearby

Katherine looked at the remote sensors set up on the Autobahn and watched the laser flash that melted her sign with resigned fury.  She slapped her be-gloved hand on the makeshift table and reset the fur on her winter parka.“I can't believe they melted my sign.  I spent a whole afternoon on it and they just slag it.  Hmmph”

One of the Star Commanders also clad in the white winter parka looked towards her, “I liked your sign Loremaster.”

“Thank You Calen.  It is nice to be appreciated.  White Wolves get ready, time to hunt.”

Two hours later, A battle damaged white Highlander IIC jumps over a small concrete parking garage onto an unsuspecting Hunchback in 2nd Royal Guards colors.  The smaller mech is crushed under the Highlander's bulky legs and slams into an office building on the opposite side of the street, the impact of which causes the autocannon's ammo to explode and engulf the building in flames.  The Highlander raises it's arms to protect the cockpit and the man inside as debris falls and buries the stricken mech.  Cameron St Jamais allows himself a rare moment of mirth, “Highlander burial indeed.”  The remainder of his command Level II (2 Tempests, 2 Guillotines, Anvil) clears the street in search of the Mech's allies.  “Nothing on sensors Precentor Martial, just a lone Wolf.”

“A foolish one at that.  It's almost not fair, they must be suckering us in for something.”

“You put to much faith in the Lyran military's capability.  Precentor Martial.”

“Perhaps but it is much to quiet Adept Dominic.  They are planning something but I'm not sure what.  Let us continue heading toward the Triad.  If we can kill Katherine they will have to follow our will.”

A burst of static goes over the airwaves.  “What was that?”

“Blake's Sword, Invincible, this is the Precentor Martial.  Status Report!”

“Precentor Martial the Invincible has been hit with a pair of Alamo missiles and is non-responsive, Lyran boarding craft are heading her way.  Blake's Sword and it's escorts are breaking off as the Lucien Davion has begun firing Santa Anas.  One of them impacted the Salvation and took out the CIC, all crew are abandoning ship, the vessel is lost to the gravity well.  We have destroyed the Foxes and heavily damaged the Donegal.  The Valhalla has suffered crippling damage and is drifting but still dangerous, Sir this battle is over.”

“Nukes Katherine.  If that is how you want to fight we can do that as well.  Just not now.  All Warships withdraw, this is a ground operation now, stay away from that Avalon they will be to busy recovering their pilots and crew to pursue. 

Move the Dropships in close and send the status report over HPG to Mars, Priority Alpha.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: marauder648 on 08 May 2018, 02:12:39
Go LCAF!!!  Great update and writing!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 08 May 2018, 04:57:55
Invincible will be a great flagship for Katy
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Kasaga on 08 May 2018, 11:56:39
Great update. Can’t wait for the flash back to see how Katherine became Archon-Princess.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 08 May 2018, 12:00:16
Great update. Can’t wait for the flash back to see how Katherine became Archon-Princess.

Check out the topic "My AU, Katherine, White Wolf of Ragnarok" Kasaga.  It's a short novel length and thanks to everyone for commenting.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Kasaga on 08 May 2018, 14:43:19
Ok will do
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 08 May 2018, 17:32:09
12/27/3067 08:47 Location – Ink District, Tharkad City, Tharkad

The heavy autocannon rounds from Katherine's Barghest punched right through the Blakist Apollo with plenty of power still remaining, she could see the building behind take the remainder of the hit, “Argh!  I liked that store, the girls there always knew how to make my eyes pop in an outfit.  I'm certain the insurance companies will try to have my head in the wake of this battle.” 

As the Blakist mech collapsed under its own weight she took a brief moment to rest and look over her mech’s status.  It was shot to hell, her right rear leg had been hit in the hip making the Canine mech limp along the snow covered streets, the body and most of the other legs were heavily compromised.  The rest of her Command Star was worse for wear or destroyed, the Warhammer was down, lost with its pilot yesterday to the New Danube after the ice broke underneath it, the Falconer was slumped against a building three blocks down with its gyro shot out but still capable of shooting back, the Archer had run out of missiles, arms, and legs, it's torso was nearly a half kilometer to the east.  Only the Bushwhacker and her Barghest remained in the fight but just barely.  “That was my last round White-Three, do you have any more ammo?”

The awkward looking mech stepped forward, it was equally battle damaged having lost its right arm; myomer and structual “bones” were visible in its hunched legs, “Neg, Loremaster.  Dry on ATM and LBX ammo, only have lasers left”

“Lucky you, mine are shot to hell and my gun is dry.  We need to withdraw.  White Wolf to Beta Leader.”

The Beta Star of her White Keshik was operating with half their Fenrirs but were kept busy patrolling their sector for Blakist units, the city was swarming with Longinus and Purifier battle armor that could easily down their damaged mechs.  It was all they could do to keep them at bay.  “Beta Leader here.”

“I need a clear route back to base.  Do you know one?”

“Aff, Loremaster, forwarding our latest reports to your mech.”

The two mechs followed the course, Buildings had been hit with stray weapons fire or crushed by the weight of Battlemechs slipping and slamming into them, bridges, and overpasses were damaged throughout the city.  Wrecked Lyran, Wolf, and Blakist mechs and tanks littered the streets where they fell, some were still burning, the snow ran red with blood where Battle Armor squads had met and engaged one another.  Tire and track treads in the snow marking where the forces sent in armored vehicles to retrieve their valuable Mechwarriors and Armor Crews.  There were to many battle armor squads on both sides within the city to risk salvage crews even if either side had any techs to spare to man them which they didn't. 

The Word of Blake seemed to still be holding firm in Olympia with the Wolves and Royal Guards keeping them mostly to the outlying river valley that separated the two cities but the toll was dire, half of the Royal Guards had been destroyed and the Wolves Tau and Zeta Galaxies had lost at least two clusters with another being laid up for repairs.  Even with spare equipment there were many idle Mechwarriors and Tankers waiting to get back into the fight, so they were given a rifle and put on Base Defense duty. 

The Aerospace battle had wound down as the Blakists had captured Lockheed-CBM although she didn't know what they did to the factory, recon flights were too dangerous.  The Lyran SDF had fought valiantly in the defense of Tharkad but they had also run out of fighters and ships in the operations area, more were protecting other vital areas like TharHes, TAG, and Seimer Data Tron.  Assault Dropships escorted SAR small craft to recover lost pilots and crews above while VTOLs recovered the lost ships' crews on the high seas.  The Dante frigate WOBS Salvation had de-orbited yesterday and its wreckage joined that of the Crusher and Gerthr as well as their task force Rapiers destroyed in the opening day by Blakist fighters.

Katherine made it back to her Zeta Galaxy's HQ, a large dragooned warehouse, near the rail-yards that connected Tharkad City to the rest of the planet although the bridges over the New Danube had been demolished to prevent the Blakists from using the trains or their bridges to move troops into the city.  A full binary stood on active guard with another in reserve to discourage Blakist attack.  Manticore and Demolisher Tanks were in their hardened fighting positions while the Vali, Chaparral C, and Marksman Artillery pieces still fired off at targets currently being attacked by other Wolves.  An Eisenpferd Armored Train operated by the Tharkad SDF watched the skies with it's three dual 23mm Rotary Autocannon and two paired 57mm Autocannon turrets sweeping for inbound contacts on land and in the air.

Her Barghest went to the designated area where techs huddled inside propane heated tents to stay warm as the mercury bottomed out at -40°C overnight rarely making it past -20°C during the day.  The light of arc welders, sparks from grinders, odor of burnt metal, and whir of pneumatic tools assailed the senses and Katherine disembarked once more wearing her LCAF issued white parka to combat the cold but little else underneath only having thin pants to protect her legs and very little else covering her chest.  By the time she ran six meters to enter the heated tunnel gate she was shivering.

Inside the warehouse there were multiple partitions, a bunk area with hot showers and cots, cafeteria with hot food, a battalion aid station, storage, armory, and briefing areas.  The warehouse had its own power supply tapping into the electric train rails so it was warm and well lit.  Katherine ran to the locker room to take a hot shower in order to warm up and changed into another light gray jumpsuit that covered up her compression shorts and top putting the parka back on but leaving it open and clipping her now beaten up white neurohelmet to a sling to carry behind her. 

She grabbed a sandwich and cup of tea before headed toward the Map Room eating along the way. Inside were two Wolf Star Colonels, injured in the fighting and thus confined to headquarters, joined by a Loki Courier all three were looking over a holographic map of the city and its environs, “Loremaster, good to have you back.”

“They almost got me this time, I am not sure how long my luck will hold Star Colonel Lager.”

“I trust you will continue to do your clan and nation proud.  Kommandant Holgen and I were just going over the plan for today.”

“Yes, what have you brought for us Kommandant?”
“Asgard thinks it’s time to push back at Olympia.”
“I agree, we certainly can't keep going on like this and neither can they.  Allied forces are already en route and they will need to leave soon if they are to have a chance to escape annihilation.  The Lucien Davion and its nuclear missiles can keep the other Warships at bay even injured as it is.  Where do they want us to strike and when?”

“They want Zeta here,” he checked his watch, “in twelve hours.”

The map displayed an arrow roughly corresponding to their quadrant pushing across the River into the southern part of Olympia before wheeling around to push the Blakists back to the Spaceport where all of their dropships were now grounded forming a heavy Anti-Aerospace perimeter that no Lyran fighter wanted to push against.   The artillery from the three Colossus dropships and WOBM's organic artillery also put a healthy dose of fear into the ground pounders.

An hour later on the river, a pair of Awesome 9Qs broke through the ice they had been using to hide their heat signatures while the ECM blocked everything else.  Eight PPCs lanced into a Royal Guards Wolf Trap causing it to detonate it in a harmonic ammo explosion from its autocannon and SRM rounds that shattered the ice beneath it.  The sudden ambush sent the Phoenix Hawk, Uziel, and Storm Crow mechs that made up the rest of the lance scrambling.  The Awesomes' leg heat sinks sucked up freezing cold water and channeled it to the PPC's cooling jackets generating a billowing cloud of steam that rapidly turned back to frost. 

The second volley wrecked the Wolf Tau Galaxy Storm Crow although one of the Awesomes did take the full brunt of an alpha strike (a pair of AC/20 hits and 6 medium lasers) from it before the Omni crashed through the ice only to have its wreck swept away by the river.  The other two mechs fled across the river rapidly leaving PPC range.  Cameron St Jamais looks over his Battlemech’s status screen now filled with yellow and red in some places on his torso, “Curse these Clanners!  That almost broke through my armor and flooded the whole machine.”

“Adept Varil, shift position and try again.  That was a heavy scout lance which means the Lyrans must be planning something and needed more recon.”

“It shall be done Precentor Martial”

Both Awesomes turned and headed separate ways, another group of WOBM would soon arrive to take over the guard duty for this section.  As he returned to the forward operating base located in a mall on the South Side of Olympia he put his mech in standby mode near the Paramour mobile field base. Militia techs were wearing industrial exoskeletons in order to carry the heavy tools to the damaged Level II that surrounded each of the six vehicles assigned to this base.  Cameron dismounted and walks into the mobile HQ truck parked nearby.  Inside were a group of Adepts from ROM and the WOMB hovering over a holotable fully overlaid with markers from scouts, sensors, and fire reports.  “Status Report”

Hogan Varichov, Precentor Quartermaster for the 1st Army of Blake, looked his way lifting his eyes from his commpad. “We are running out of everything Precentor Martial.  There are too few supplies even for our depleted numbers, only three Divisons are still at full strength and most are running on their last missile loads, there is perhaps another reload for all ballistics aboard our dropships.  I had sent Purifiers and Longinus suits to search for and secure supply depots but the Lyrans blew them up rather than let them fall into our hands.  Without the ability to salvage our fallen or the chance we secure a Lyran ammo dump intact we must either risk attacking TharHes or we cannot fight another day on planet."

“Blake’s Blood!  We have crucially underestimated the resolve of our enemy and it shall not happen again.  Get me the division commanders, we’ll have to fall back and lift off no later than the morning.  They may have won this battle but the War is just beginning.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 08 May 2018, 18:33:37
And that's what they call CULMINATION boys & girls...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Kasaga on 08 May 2018, 19:19:22
Love it.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 09 May 2018, 00:04:43
Wow   awesome story
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 09 May 2018, 06:16:28
Much appreciated all, your comments do inspire me to greater heights as an Author

12/29/3067 06:00 Location – ST-46C POA-2, Above Tharkad, Federated Commonwealth

The Blakist assault on Tharkad left the Lockheed-CMB plant in ruins, it would take months if not years to repair the aerospace factory.  Many districts of Olympia were heavily damaged in the final push to remove the Word of Blake’s assault force from the planet two nights ago, some fires still raged as the WOBM sabotaged the gas lines and it was still too cold for firefighters to respond effectively. 

The infrastructure workers were the first to return in a convoy from their rural redoubts along with the TSDF’s combat engineers to patch up bridges, roads, and railways damaged in the fighting.  Even the Triad had taken hits from aerospace fighters and artillery but it was nothing that couldn’t be repaired in due time, long after essential services were restored and people returned to their homes and businesses to rebuild.  While it could have been worse it looked really bad from the sky as Katherine flew into space in one of her personal shuttles. 

Salvage crews had recovered large portions of the destroyed Fox corvettes and numerous cored assault dropships that would be a hazard to navigation and packed them away or deorbited them in a controlled manner.  Small craft replaced the satellite constellation above Tharkad that had been damaged during the fighting restoring communications, weather, and navigation services to the people below.

The once proud Eclipse carrier Donegal, the newest in her class, was damaged beyond recognition but her core systems were intact as far as the crew could tell.  Her flight decks were exposed to vacuum and rent raw, she would be in a repair yard for months but was one of the lucky ones to have survived the brutal onslaught of the Essex destroyer’s Naval Autocannons.  Only one of her dropship collars remained usable and it was currently empty.

The Valhalla was somewhere beyond the immediate Tharkad planetary system having lost its primary thrusters and likely suffered serious damage to the KF core after the beating it endured but the fusion power plant at its heart was still strong which meant all was not lost.  The crew marked it with a beacon and stabilized its course while tagging it for later retrieval before evacuating. 

The ancient Model 96 Elephants TAG Powerlifter 2 and 3 from TAG’s Aesiria orbital yards had crushed their domes and burnt out their thrusters to stabilize the orbit of the massive Tharkad Battlecruiser Invincible in order to prevent it from falling into the gravity well and causing serious damage to the planet below.  Salvage crews were currently prepping booster rockets to ensure that its orbit didn’t decay before the Mega-Tug FCS Hans Jugend Fritz and Orbital Repair Dock FCS Alberich arrived, both of which were currently being command circuited from the Melissa Theater.  Their transfer would slow the timetable of the Falcon’s destruction but it would still take place.  They just needed the FCS Baldung to be transferred from Sargasso which would take perhaps another two weeks.

Katherine hung onto the recessed bar over the cockpit hatch and watched the view screen, the carnage had been on a scale she could scarcely imagine.  Yet her people were already picking up the pieces and making something out of them.  Hundreds of Commonwealth Fleet Spacers had lost their lives above Tharkad and yet there was no sign of them anywhere, it was like they were just absorbed back into the vastness of space.

She felt an emptiness deep in the pit of her stomach that it had come to this as the shuttle passed close to the Invincible.  The two Alamo tipped missiles as well as the Valhallas’ guns had torn deep into the vessel exposing the structural members of its decks.  Now the massive ship drifted on life support sustained by the many smaller craft that surrounded it. EVA workers in Zero-G exoskeletons from TAG finished bolting in the thruster packs having to punch holes into the superstructure to support the modified Killer Whale missiles. 

The ship even had the original Commonwealth Fleet Ensign from the 29th Century, just like it had been when it fought DCMS forces above Hesperus II, painted on the bow though it now was marred with damage.  A maximum of three letters of ‘LCS Invincible’ remained visible along each of its six surfaces, the rest lost to huge armor breaches.  Katherine could scarcely believe this piece of living history floated above her planet this day, “I can’t believe it.  It has to have been a trick, a Trojan horse to get us to let our guard down.  There is no way the Word of Blake sought to truly gift that ship back to us.”

A beep was heard on the cockpit console and the co-pilot picked it up on his headphones, he kept it to the phones but nodded and affirmed the command from traffic control, “Katherine we are being ordered away, they’re about to fire the booster rockets and don’t want you in the danger zone.”

“They don’t want me near a controlled orbital burn but are perfectly okay with me fighting Blakists in a Battlemech.  Fine take us away Zack, but I want to watch.”

“Ah, Ah, Ma’am”

12/31/3067 11:57 Location – Horizon Lounge, Ocean Club, Tropicana City, Tharkad

Archon-Princess/Loremaster Katherine and a few select lucky friends (mostly Wolves and Loki, talk about a tough crowd) are lounging in the pool of the Horizon Lounge drinking tropical drinks by the pitcher.  Despite her pale complexion Katherine was alluring in a purple bikini currently talking to one of the Zeta Star Commanders and a Hauptmann from the Royal Guards.  “There are only three things in the Inner Sphere that I like stiff, you see.  Corsets, Drinks, and Men.  Though its to bad Vlad had to leave.” 

She stirs the finger with the wedding ring on it in the cocktail in barely disguised innuendo, “I almost wanted to call him back to celebrate our victory, but he has work to do. He will have more work to do when I meet up with him on Tamar...” 

A ship's horn sound effect played over the speakers as the servers distributed Champagne to the assembled crowd.  “Three minutes till fireworks everyone, you will all have the best seat on the planet for the show this evening.”

“Toast! to continued victories in the New Year”

02/01/3068 Location – Aboard the FCS Hans Jurgend Fritz vectoring towards the Hulk Valhalla, Interplanetary Space, Tharkad System

The HJF, named after a famous pro wrestler from the former Rasalhague Republic (born as an Elsie), was little more than a Mjolnir's thruster pod with a solid structure built around it, weighing in, built, and designed to operate much like the Behemoth dropship.  The Fritz and her sister ships Gargantuan (currently in Galax) and Der Unmensh (currently in Alarion) were originally created for the explicit purpose of being an engine pod for the massive Warship. 

While Katherine was expanding the Port Simon Yards around Alarion the TAG Aesiria yards were building the ship's interplanetary drives due to the COMSTAR boycott of the Lyran Alliance.  Once completed they were sent all the way across the Lyran Alliance in order to meet the timetable.  It was horribly inefficient but necessary to build up the capacity.  Now that the Port Simon Yards had the capacity, the Tharkad yards went back to building Behemoths and Alarion always made an extra engine to turn into another Gargantuan Mega-Tug just in case.

With the capacity to push 1.5 Megatons at 0.5g and a maximum acceleration of 7.5gs when unencumbered they were the only tug capable of recovering something the size of a Mjolnir in a reasonable time-frame although they spent nearly all of their time wrestling space stations and pushing asteroids and comets into better alignment for orbital mining or terraforming concerns as no FC Warships had been damaged until now.

The Valhalla was the first Mjolnir to actually engage an enemy Warship and she ran right into the teeth of a WOB Assault Force which included the dreaded McKenna but came out in one piece.  The Valhalla's organic tender vessel the Jumbo FCSFS Hero's Rest and her crew were repairing small portions of the ship while the HJF was pushing it back toward Tharkad but there was so much more work to be done. 

The KF core was damaged so it would have to wait for one of COMSTAR's Faslanes or the Wolf's Newgrange yardship to find their way to Tharkad and another 300 kilotons of Germanium transported to the planet in order to forge and install another core.  TAG could repair the interplanetary drives but it would still be at least a year before the Valhalla could leave the system likely two, and by that time Mjolrnir #4 Svartalfheim might be completed.

The Hero's Rest crew had evacuated before turnover, this maneuver had been simulated certainly but no one had ever executed it yet and 1.4 MT of combined mass spinning was dangerous even if everything went right.  That is why the Gargantuans have hundreds of tons of armor protecting them.

Captain Warner Vankef, a wrestler that attended the Armstrong Flight Academy on an athletic scholarship, looked at the display screens in the rather spartan bridge, the vessel had 22 total crew and only needed six in the command center even during a maneuver as complex as this one.  The others were in engineering but no one was sleeping during turnover. “Men we are about to do something that has never been done before.  The Fritz is going to suplex a Battleship!  We've only simulated this before so this is going to be the ultimate test of our abilities.”

Cheers erupted on the bridge and although unheard on the bridge filled the corridors of the engineering department as well.  Captain Vankef opened a channel to the Hero's Rest, “I hope you are rolling film on this one Captain Fern.”

“Ah Captain, this is going to be a proud moment for the Armstrong Academy.  They might even name the wrestling scholarship after you if you can pull it off.  Alarion NA is going to be quite upset that a Sunny flipped a Lyran craft first.”

“We're all Commonwealth now, at least I beat a Tikker to it.  I don't think we'd ever be able to live that down.  We'll begin the flip at zero point five radians per hour, that should be slow enough to preserve our grip.”

“Your math checks out Captain, we'll have to put the video on fast forward when I show it though or people will get bored.”

“Better that than rewind to replay the moment when the Fritz got knocked out by a Mjolnir.  All hands prepare for maneuvering.”

The Behemoth dropship looked tiny compared to the massive bulk of the Valhalla that it was strongly bound to but the engine precisely tilted while maintaining alignment.  “Rotational locks secured on the pylon mounts, thruster in position, engineering reports all systems green, all crew are in their acceleration positions Captain”

“Specific impulse lock five minutes max power, adjust acceleration couch positions.”
  The chair beneath him adjusted to compensate for the soon to be overwhelming acceleration.

The lights dimmed in the HJF even drawing from the Valhalla's central reactor the engine still drained system power on the dropship and the emergency lights came on.  A horrid screeching sound could be heard as parts of the heavily reinforced hull began to strain under the acceleration.  Five minutes passed and some of the crew suffered loss of consciousness as the tug pulled the Mjolrnir end over end.  “All medics and watchers check your charges.  Captain Fern, I am reading zero point two five rads on my gyros. How's it looking on your sensors?”

“Hero's Rest confirms rotational reading.  Do you want to do it again?”

Captain Vankef had been through all kinds of flight training but a solid 7.5g acceleration for five minutes at a thirty degree angle was something he had never experienced before and it sucked, “Hell no!  I'll wait, I have one major headache brewing.”

“Well you have twelve hours to get over then its a smooth ride back to Tharkad.  Katherine should give your crew an all expense paid trip to the Magistracy considering you just saved the FCN billions of c-bills and made history.”

“All in a day's work I guess.  Though I'm not counting my nude nubian beach babes yet.  I still have to reverse the burn and suffer through another two weeks of this mess.
 There's still plenty of time for something to go wrong.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 09 May 2018, 16:17:58
02/07/3068 Location – “Ruins of Gabriel”, Odessa IV, Federated Commonwealth

Cameron St Jamais watched the massive hidden shipyard codenamed the Ruins of Gabriel come into view as the Colossus Dropship WOBS Divine Justice cleared Odessa IV.  The McKenna Battleship Blake’s Sword was clearing the planet behind the dropships aerobraking its immense bulk using the gas giant’s expansive atmosphere to stabilize its orbit so that it could maneuver into the docks where the Invincible had been refitted.  The Blakist flagship had suffered major damage during The Battle of Tharkad being hit with several Alamos, a Santa Ana, and taking a full pass of the Valhalla’s guns. It gave as well as it got as the crew of the Valhalla could attest.  The ship and its now diminished escort needed time in the yard to repair their damaged hulls and receive weapon upgrades now that they were fighting a different enemy than the one originally planned. 

Only a momentary pause Cameron thought as he drifted in freefall rolling to grab the “monkey” bars to stabilize himself.  He fixed the mandarin collar of his black jumpsuit and took a moment to take in the sight of the Shipyards as the dropship slowly docked to the central ring, “Blake’s Sword shall come back sharper and we will not hold back next time.  The Will of Blake shall be done and I am the instrument of his Wrath.”

The dropship puffed and docked to the massive ring habitat that housed the shipyards’s workers and work craft.  Several other stations housing factory complexes occupied other places in orbit.  There were a dozen separate cage-works of which a Baron, 2 Nagas, an Essex, and a Black Lion were the current occupants the ancient vessels were in varying states of readiness.  The Tharkad Task Force slowly, carefully, occupied empty slips and were immediately tended to by the shipyard’s craft.  A portion of the ship’s crews would transfer back to Aphros Station in the Terra system while some of them would crew another vessel soon to be readied for action either from this yard, Titan, or Irian.

Cameron stepped off the docking port and was immediately met with a pair of robed and armored soldiers wielding Mauser 1200s, their faces covered but with obvious cybernetic eyes that glowed a deep crimson burning out from the shade of their hoods.  “The Master wishes to speak with you.”
“The Master is here?”
“Indeed, he has seen fit to grace you with his physical presence. Follow us.”

The Precentor Martial followed the figures who moved with a liquid grace unlike any he had seen before comfortable in the fractional gravity of this habitat.  Cameron was nervous The Master had only communicated with him via HPG or regular channels, He had never seen the man in the flesh before, he didn’t know anyone that had.  The shame of his defeat caused him to hang his head, he could have done better The Master deserved his best.

The two soldiers stopped at a door leading to the observation deck.  “Go in”

Cameron keyed the button and slow walked in to the darkened room faintly illuminated by the reflection of Odessa IV on the other side of the dimmed view-screens.  The door closed behind him as he walked forward.  “It’s beautiful isn’t it Cameron?”  The view-screens switched to displaying a loop of Terra a planet he had only dreamed of visiting one day.  The continents of humanity’s home world drifted lazily and the night was illuminated by cities.

“It is Master.”
“Would you like to visit it one day?”
“I’ve dreamed of it.”
“I can make your dreams and nightmares real Cameron St Jamais.  Are you still certain you can protect it from those that seek to bring war to humanity’s birthplace?  That is our goal, all of this”
  the view-screens switched to showing a collection of planets from across the Inner Sphere, New Avalon, Tharkad, Luthien, Skye, Outreach, Marik, Sian, Atreus, Gibson, Strana Mechdy, etc… before returning back to Terra “Came from here.  It is our sacred duty to protect it from those that would use it as the usurper Amaris did.  Unfortunately our duty is a thankless one.  Blessed Blake knew that and we follow his guidance, the fool Primus Dow sees it just as another asset to add to his portfolio, the Clans cherish it as a prize, the Commonwealth sees it as destiny.  They are all wrong they seek to exploit what we exalt.”
Cameron took a knee, “I am sorry that I have failed you in my task Master.”
The Master stepped out of the shadows hood down on his white robes exposing his ravaged face where certain components were replaced by visible cybernetics, the man’s hands and body were still concealed though likely there were more.  Cameron averted his eyes at the horrific sight.  “Look upon me Precentor Martial, we all make mistakes, fail.  It is human nature that we should learn from these errors lest we repeat them.  Have you have learned your error?”
Cameron still had difficult looking the cyborg in the eyes, one of which was a grotesque cybernetic replacement, ancient in model.  “I have.  I failed to form a proper battle plan and underestimated my enemy.  Had I more focus we would have been victorious.”
“Good your failure cost us the Invincible and Salvation over Tharkad, and the Herald of Justice above New Avalon as well as nearly an Army of Militia.  Blessed be to Blake that our allies and order are mighty, wisdom vast, and patience unending.  We shall humble our enemies in due time. 

I shall give you one task before I leave.  Take time and focus upon this screen of Terra, think of it as your child.  Yes that is right I know of your son, I even brought his mother with me here.  You would protect Cameron with your life wouldn’t you?  I would even now after all these years do so.”

The Master walked up to the kneeling Cameron who bowed his head rather than look up again, one of the cybernetic ally enhanced hands gripped his right shoulder and squeezed hard causing Cameron to grimace and groan in pain.  “Think very hard!”

The Master put his hood back up and left along with his honor guard aboard the prototype Tiamat Pocket Warship.  The vehicle was entirely staffed of Manei Domini among them Apollyon, the head of the Blakist Shadow Divisions, he was mostly cybernetic much of which was in the same image as his Master and that was an intentional move on his part.  Though the Master rejected him as his apprentice instead choosing to seek others which caused no shortage of resentment in the otherwise “pure creation”. 
“With all due respect, you put too much trust in that frail Master.”

“Perhaps but a motivated frail is a useful frail Apollyon.  We are not yet ready to reveal ourselves to the Inner Sphere but soon they will look upon us as saviors.  Humanity shall rejoice that they are once more free; relieved of the petty politics of the Great Houses that led them astray and have caused no shortage of misery and pain.  All of which the Word of Blake would alleviate should they function as Blake intended with unity of purpose.  I shall give them their Savior, we are merely tools of a greater plan.”
“What if they reject our Wisdom?”
“They have already and they will be punished for it.  Worry not all will occur at the proper pace.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 09 May 2018, 19:04:37
I was shocked WOB was able to get off the planet
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 10 May 2018, 01:20:03
I was shocked WOB was able to get off the planet

Four Warships, even heavily damaged, on one is still terrible odds even with Nukes.  Anyhow that was the end of the Tharkad Arc so now onto a short to the Combine before returning to the past with Peter and Yvonne.

12/20/3067 21:47 Location – Franklin Sakamoto’s Private Residence, Imperial City, Luthien, Draconis Combine

Sho-Sho (General) Franklin Sakamoto was walking through the Imperial Gardens after relaxing in the Palace’s spa following a particularly rigorous day on the training field.  The night breeze was cool as he walked back but not cold enough for him to put his shirt back on.  Instead he proudly walked to the small home nestled in a quiet patch of bamboo just outside the Imperial Barracks wearing only his pants and sandals whistling an old spacer tune he learned in his travels. His shirt was slung over the well-muscled torso he had earned during a lifetime of training for the perfect moment when he would require all of his strength to prevail. 

While walking through the winding gardens he calmly wondering how his once rival, now friend Adam Steiner was doing. The man had sent the invitation to rejoin the reformed 1st Somerset Strikers but Franklin enjoyed his home realm far too much now and no longer felt compelled to once more venture out and fight the Clans.  There was a powerful Clan far closer to home or he could fight the vassal Nova Cats that had adopted his half-brother as their Loremaster.  His duty and heart remained with the Dragon though he would welcome an opportunity to catch up at a later date even on Somerset to share war stories as both had more than a few and gained some since they had last fought alongside one another.

As he stood outside the sliding door he faintly smelled something flowery.  Lilac? An odd smell for winter. Did he leave a candle or incense burning after he stopped by in the afternoon? He sniffed again particularly on his armpits, too much soap?  He looked around his environs there were only bamboo plants still green in the mild winters of Luthien no flowers of any kind were currently in bloom.  Adrenaline coursed through him but doubt was stronger.  No assassin would wear perfume while performing their duties.  He must be imagining things, perhaps that last hit on the yard was a little more than he could take.

Franklin opened the door a saw a soft light on in his sleeping room with a figure, when he quietly opened the screen he saw it was a woman whose back was to him.  Her shoulders were exposed, crane-like neck gracefully poised in contemplation, her kimono loose in a seductive tease. Upon hearing the rustle of his pants she turned but her silky raven black hair remained pinned in place by elegant ivory sticks, her lips just the right shade of red, and blue eyes bright in the half-light.  “Mara?”

“I had hoped I wouldn’t have to wait much longer Franklin.”

He stepped forward and she turned around but remained down, her kimono was just loose enough to ignite imagination but not enough to be vulgar.  The barest bit of her white silk sarashi was visible in the gap between the two portions of her outfit.  She looked refined and eager, the barest pout of her lips and her current state of undress were more than enough hint at her intentions, though her motivations were unknown to him. 

Mara Selenica was an unknown quantity, he inferred that she was an pillar agent but could never pin down her exact responsibilities not that it mattered.  He was smitten with her and she found reasons to get close to him as well.  Regularly he was certain to find her in the audience when he was bare-chested on the parade field during hot days training the Sun Zhang students or sparring.  They had spoken a few times but the Kurita court was home to rampant rumor-mongering that made even the Triad on Tharkad look tame as many more arguments ended with a sword fight (and the Tharkad dueling circuit was quite extensive, ancient black powder pistols were now back in vogue). Yet here she was in his home with him tonight.

“You shouldn't be here Mara.”

Her voice grew soft almost whispered he swore a tear was forming, “Do you want me to go?”

“No, but you still shouldn't be here.”

She rose and pulled him he didn't fight it as she drew him to his knees to look into her blue eyes.  “I had to come.  I've tried to make my feelings known but you always avoid me.”  She turned away slightly and there was definitely a tear, “Am I not acceptable to you?”

Franklin's heart burned and tore at the mere thought of a such a thing, he gently moved her head back towards him and wiped the tear away, “That's not it at all.  My duty is everything to me, I just don't know what I can offer you in return.”

“I was raised in a Pillarine Convent, I knew nothing other than duty until now.  I just don't know how to describe it other than Love and I need to know whether you feel it too.”

He had never felt that way before either but hesitated before responding, “I feel it too.”

“I don't know if I believe you are sincere, I want to know that I am not just another Oiran to you, that there is something truly special.”  She pulled the kimono back over her shoulders which in the moment felt like the cruelest thing a woman had ever done to a man.  Another sting hit his heart at her unkind words, “How may I prove it Mara?”

“What do you love about me?  Your answers will prove it to be true.”

Franklin put his hands on her shoulders pushing the kimono back off them once more gently caressing her, “Your skin is like moonlight on a still pond,” he leaned closer and removed the exquisite ivory hair sticks from the hair bun and grasped their smooth forms in his right hand, her hair cascading down to just below her shoulders, “your eyes are bright and clear like winter sky,” he neared closer almost touching her lips to his, “your lips the color of spring wildflowers.”

With their first kiss followed many others and the pair were wrapped in the folds of the kimono before moving to the bed.  It was a passion that he had never felt before and the evening passed by quickly. 

Franklin woke to the sound of combat, fierce, large scale combat, the 'whoosh of missiles, electric crack of PPC capacitors, and the distinctive sound of an LB10X. Immediately taking in his surroundings he realized that he was no longer in his house or anywhere familiar in fact.  The air smelled like ozone and a hospital, bright lights shone in his face and he felt motion underneath him, heard the sound of tires on concrete and the discordant blare of sirens. 

He attempted to get up but was unable to fighting against straps that bound him to a gurney, both of wrists and ankles were handcuffed to the frame.  He blinked to clear his unfocused vision, it must have been drugs.  Soon everything came back into focus; he saw Mara still beautiful but now fully clothed in a Luthien City EMS uniform, her hair in a tight ponytail threaded through the cap, and a large Afro-Arabic man with tightly cropped hair, the same uniform, bright Yakuza style tattoos, and a cybernetic arm, sitting to either side of him, “You lied to me Mara!  What is the meaning of this?”

She looked his way tilting her head and giving him a kiss before speaking, “I didn't lie I meant everything that I said last night.  I just didn't tell you about the morning. The Abbess has taken a special interest in you and I volunteered to ensure you were spared the fate of so many other Otomo and Izanagi Warriors.  We are going to change things back to the way they were.”

“Who is we?”

“The Kokuryu-kai are going to bring back the glory of the Draconis Combine.  We will no longer be ashamed of who we are, the Combine has a long glorious history we are no worse than any others.  Nor shall we allow the Coordinator to change us into something that we can never be and you are going to help us." 

The cyborg looked his way and showed the needler concealed in his jacket, “Or else.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 10 May 2018, 04:33:14
That's a heck of a way to wake up...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 10 May 2018, 06:17:46
Things have gone bad....
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 10 May 2018, 15:03:37
You know when that how your new day starts that thank gods u believe in for the night before.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 10 May 2018, 15:57:14
Things have gone bad....

Oh it gets so much worse

12/19/3067 18:52 Location – Cape Washi (Eagle), Wolcott, Draconis Combine

Photon Brett-Marik, Commanding General of the 2nd SLDF not that the title meant much now, was opening the latest care package from his family on Tamarind while eating his dinner. He was hoping there might be some dried Tamarind tart dates within for dessert.  The Marik base below was still active even as the Wolcott's sun dipped below the horizon.  A sweet salt breeze drifted through the partially open window and he could hear birds screeching over the bay. 

Over the past two years he had grown more accustomed to this planet than Tamarind and learned elementary Japanese which kept his mind busy.  "His" 2nd Free Worlds Guards and a rotating list of Marik Militias were maintaining vigilance in the event the Ghost Bears attacked once more.  To alleviate boredom he made sure they drilled heavily with Nova Cat Galaxies, DCMS commands, and SLDF contracted mercenaries basically anyone that wanted to do a scrimmage game.  Typically Hohiro Kurita would be on planet as well but he was somewhere between Tharkad and Luthien having left shortly after Katherine removed the Federated Commonwealth from the 2nd Star League and effectively reset the whole of galactic politics for a decade in an evening. 

As soon as he heard that over the HPG he almost ordered the whole command back to the FWL expecting an AFFC attack on the League in which Tamarind would be squarely in the cross-hairs but was ordered to remain in place while his uncle Captain-General Thomas Marik sorted the matter out with Coordinator Theodore Kurita.  Both men were currently in transit to their capitals in order to confer with their respective governments so he would have to wait two to four months before they reached consensus.

Best case he just went home, they could revise the Concord of Kapetyn to exclude the upstart and irritating Trinity Alliance and pick up right where they left off before the Second Star League was formed. The Combine and Free World's economies were heavily intertwined by nearly forty years of brisk trade and tech exchange between them, which increased by necessity during the Clan Invasion, and became vital while Theodore Kurita was attempting to purge the Black Dragons.  Without a unified Star League Photon figured the Rasalhague worlds would join the Ghost Bears for security kicking out COMSTAR and with Katherine literally in bed with the Wolves he hoped they might just kill each other and spare his troops any further bloodshed.  The Ghost Bears might even extend an olive branch to them through the Nova Cats who still maintained back-channels even though they had fought viciously several years earlier.  Such was just the Clan way they didn’t take it personally most of the time.

Taking his first bite out of one of the dried dates, it was as sweet as he remembered them to be, Photon blissfully reclined in the chair looking at the picture of him, Samantha, and Anthony from last year when he was given two months liberty on world which took three months total.  Then he heard the sound of a gunshot that took him out of his relaxed state, the shot was followed up by machine gun fire and then the thump of grenades. 

Photon stood up and looked out the window to see tracers and explosions originating from the main gate.  The alarms went off throughout the compound and he could see people scrambling for cover.  Looking up he saw the distinctive front profile of a flight of Shilones flying low and slow; like they were coming in for a bombing!?  He saw a half dozen objects fall from each Aerofighter.  “Shit!”

He rolled under the heavy metal table and covered his head with his arms as a dozen bombs fell onto the base.  Their blasts and the sonic boom of the fighters shook the building he was in to its foundations knocking objects off the walls.  The window exploded and filled the room with deadly razor sharp glass almost all of which bounced off the table above him.  Photon kicked the chair that obscured his sight of the door away and drew his Hawk Eagle sidearm positioning it between his legs facing the door.  The sprinklers engaged and water fell like a waterfall from the table edge.

The door burst open and Photon fired a full clip from his sidearm at the dark blue Achileus battle armor that entered.  One of them raised its arm mounted machine gun before the lead unit slapped it down, “Hold your fire!

General Marik, we need to get you to your Battlemech.”

Photon slid out from under the table standing before the Eagle Corps commandos, he reloaded and holstered his pistol, “I’m sorry I shot you Sergeant.”

“It is a good thing I was wearing armor so I can accept your apology. Put this on,” one of the other troops handed him an armored jacket, “and you are going to need this.”  Another handed him a bag containing an AX-22 assault rifle along with extra magazines which he quickly stuffed into his battledress uniform’s leg pockets adjusting the rifle’s stock until it was comfortable before pulling back his now wet black hair. He went back to the table and grabbed the downed picture stuffing it inside his flak jacket.  “Let’s go”

They skulked through the building picking up other soldiers along the way while the Eagle Corps Commandos were running point.  “What’s going on?”

“General the Thirty-Third and Forty-Sixth Dieron Regulars as well as the Wolcott militia are attacking us based on the battlefield chatter.  DCMS battle armor is inside the wire and they have surrounded the hangers and armor pool but the techs and a few crew there are giving them hell.  They can’t hold out much longer though.  Portions of the Sixth (Marik Militia) are holding their Mechs back but they are going to need support soon...if those Battlemechs get through I don’t think we have a chance.”

“They didn’t say anything before launching the attack?”

“Don’t know sir, we were already in the suits for a planned night exercise when the alarms started.  We just changed the ammo to lethal instead and secured the armory before coming to get you.”

“Damn, the Mech Bays are on the other side of the base.”

“I know, we’re not going to be alone though.  The First
(Tamarind Armored Infantry Regiment) is almost completely suited up now and several platoons are already engaging the enemy to rescue trapped soldiers so they can get into the fight.  We can get in while the DCMS troopers are distracted, the duty techs have already initiated emergency start up procedures so you should just be able to jump in."

General Marik peered out of the narrow horizontal window frame that looked out across the base where he saw multiple streams of tracers, red and green visible in twilight, being exchanged across the parade grounds, the light and smoke of grenades, the fire of jump jets, the demonic winged silhouettes of Kage Battle Armor reflected in the fires that ravaged some of the base buildings, and heard the sound of both David and Tsunami Gauss rifles each capable of launching 20mm steel sabots at Mach 7 that could kill a man even wearing heavy armor at more than a three hundred meters. 

He looked down at the regular rifle in his hands and out among the collection of lightly armed soldiers under his command in the mess hall.  All were ready to charge into the carnage beside him, “You make it sound so easy Sergeant."

"We’re already in this fight Guards."
  He pulled back the charging handle of the matte gray rifle which returned with the satisfying click of a round being chambered, "Time to shoot back.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 10 May 2018, 21:43:00
12/19/3067 20:17 Location - Cape Washi (Eagle), Wolcott, Draconis Combine

Lieutenant Tai Mikir of the 1st Tamarind Armored Infantry was engaged in a brutal grapple with a 33rd Dieron Regular Raiden.  The Longinus’ missiles were long expended, his King David and Light Machine Gun run dry, his armor had taken multiple hits over the past hour and half of active combat but his enemy was in a similar situation.  Allied forces were somewhere around but not here where he needed them.  It was down to a tug of war to see who could overbalance the other in order to deliver the final blow. 

He could see his target, a thick perimeter wall, all he needed to do was shift the Raiden a few more degrees.  With a final grunt he did so and engaged his jump jets to push him and his opponent straight forward, the unexpected move worked and he slammed the DCMS trooper into the wall before his suit crashed into the enemy armor as well knocking the breath from him.

The sound of armor breaking and the sudden slackening of his enemy’s grip meant the deed was done. Battle Armor hand to hand combat was about killing the guy inside rather than tearing the armor to pieces and blunt force trauma still worked most of the time.  You didn’t need to punch through if the armor did all the work. 

Tai took a moment to catch his breath and look around, the Sixth had been routed, forced to fall back under the heavy onslaught of the Combine forces.  The fires that threatened to envelop the base had been quenched by the rainstorm that currently turned the field to mud and washed away the blood of so many fallen off the pavement. 

He spotted something using his night vision, a straight rod of steel, walking up to it he saw the steel seemed sturdy enough before wrapping the battle claw around it locking the grip in the waldo so the myomer muscles would do all the work of holding it and he could rest his hand which had started to cramp up.

While following the sounds of battle Tai walked in on a pair of Forty-Sixth Gladiator mechs attacking a heavily damaged Nova Cat Prime. One of its partners, a Hercules, was down cored by the wreck of a Mauler on the opposite hill that still popped with secondary explosions from its autocannon’s magazine.  Tai could see several other lone Longinii battle armor on the IFF map overlaid in the lower corner of his view-screen.  “Delta One-One to all friendly armor, reorganize on my position.”

Photon Brett-Marik attempted to evade the Gladiators that had caught his scent and used their greater maneuverability to keep him boxed into the kill zone.  His command lance had already taken down most of a company but he was now the only one left standing and not by much.  There were just too many enemy mechs and the initial surprise attack had killed or buried many of his soldiers. 

His long range radio was still jammed, there were unfortunately more pressing concerns than seeking out the jammer even if he had the equipment to do so.  Another eight SRMs and two lasers hit him from both sides while a PPC tore into his right leg’s exposed myomers.  The computer told him the lower leg had been hit and he felt it as he strained to maintain the balance of the mech.  The engine was compromised, clear cooling oil leaked from his torsos, this mech was already a heat beast but he needed to kill these guys now or he was going to die so he had to give it his all even if it shut the mech down.

All three lasers and both PPCs were split between the Combine mechs, one Gladiator was completely cored by PPCs, the sapphire bolts exploding in what appeared to be sparks across the enemy mech.  The other just took a shot to the head from a laser that stripped the armored cowling away and damaged the sensor masts.  His mech shut down and locked up, falling down with a crash that destroyed the Nova Cat’s right arm and leg.  The massive overheat caused a steam cloud to erupt from the wet grass underneath which billowed as the hot air from the radiators created its own wind.

The remaining Gladiator walked up placing a leg on top of his stricken Nova Cat’s chest slowly aiming the arm mounted PPC right at Photon’s cockpit.  “Go ahead pull the trigger!”

Nothing happened, his mech cooled down enough that he could restart it but there was no way it was going to be fighting effective, better to just play dead.  The Gladiator’s PPC arm still loomed large in front of him, was this just some kind of Combine psychological trick where they wanted him to think that he was spared before killing him because that seemed suitable sadistic for them. 

He heard the sound of Battle Armor landing on the mech's torso near the cockpit and pulled out his sidearm, “That’s it they just want me alive so they can torture me and hold me as a prisoner for leverage over my family.  I’m not going without a fight.”

The armored cowling that protected his mech’s cockpit was pulled back and Photon could see Wolcott’s moon and the head light of a Longinus.  “General Marik sir.  Can you pop the hatch?  Are you injured?”

Photon was in disbelief, the hatch was jammed and he probably had a concussion but was otherwise fine.  “Hatch is jammed, I’m not hurt.  I’ve never been happier in fact.”

“There’s still time for disappointment General.  Cover your head.”

The Longinus kicked in the cockpit’s ferroglaz and lifted it with the battle claw.  Photon pulled out the assault rifle and grabbed the offered gun barrel using it to pull himself out of the cockpit.  He now stood atop the tortured remains of his gift from Khan West and it gave him a moment of regret, it had been a nice mech.  Three more Longinii were nearby along with his lancemates rescued from their downed mechs.  The Combine Mechwarriors were probably not as lucky, Photon didn’t feel bad about that, they’d paid the price for their treachery.

The Gladiator was still poised above them, “Lieutenant what happened to the Gladiator pilot?”  The Lieutenant picked up a steel rod that was covered in blood from the superstructure, “You know the old saying ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ General?”

Photon was confused but he wasn’t sure whether or not it was the concussion or the question, “Yeah”

“I didn’t spare the rod.” The Lieutenant gracefully twirled the rod in his battle claw which was an impressive display of dexterity for such a brutal instrument, “and to think Dad said Track and Field would never be useful, guess he was wrong.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 11 May 2018, 05:10:16
On the playing fields of Eton...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 11 May 2018, 06:12:02
Yikes, almost getting confused what's going on with General Marik's forces. True battle of survivors and carnage here.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 11 May 2018, 17:30:20
12/20/3067 06:00 Location – Cape Washi (Eagle), Wolcott, Draconis Combine

The dawn brought light but not relief to the 2nd Free World Guards all it did was show just how devastated their home had become due to the vicious fighting that had only wrapped up less than two hours ago.  The Sixth Marik Militia had been rolled into the 2nd Free Worlds Guards having lost 60% of its combat strength with a casualty count of 30%, the Guards were roughly 60/40.  The surprise attack ruined many Mechs and Vehicles before their crews could even fight back, the battlefield damage had ruined nearly all of their mechs that had survived there were plenty of spare parts just no time.  Rescue crews had been working through the night to find as many soldiers as possible, their efforts would be doubled in the daylight.

Photon’s three mechs (Nova Cat, Orion, Awesome) were now combat ineffective but his personal lance had taken down nearly a battalion of the fanatical but poorly led and not as well equipped Combine forces in the night. He was tired, hungry, thirsty, and sore yet he couldn't get any relief yet, he walked up to the mobile MASH trucks that were now parked outside the Guard's HQ which was pockmarked with bullet holes, entire sections blown apart, or burnt beyond recognition.  The casualties were staggering, they took up all the mess tables, and the immediate area just outside with litters.  Walking wounded were providing support for their fellows while the medical professionals worked to treat intensive casualties. 

His appearance raised their spirits and his own, inspired he stood on a set of boxes nearby and raised his fist, “Second!”  A ragged chorus of “Never Second Best!” erupted from the injured followed by applause, he whispered to himself “I can only hope that's true we're not out of this yet.”  Walking around the building he entered the Headquarters tent set up with salvaged equipment, their command center had been damaged as a bomb nearly hit it, instead it missed and blew up the men's restroom which fortunately no one was in at the time.

Checking in with HQs he saw the current running tally and let them get on with coordinating rescue and salvage teams throughout the battlefield.  The DCMS troops had fallen back and even his ragged light armor was keeping them at bay while they licked their wounds and planned their next strike.  Continuing on he saw a platoon of military police and SAFE field operatives guarding their few prisoners, the Marik soldiers had their rifles ready with fingers on the trigger if anyone moved.  General Marik spoke to the Sergeant in charge, “I want the highest ranking one alone.”
“Sir, with all due respect these are dangerous people we can’t let you be alone with one of them.”

“Sergeant that is an order from your General.  Give me the highest ranking one alone in the tent.  You can secure him before I talk to him if you so desire.”

“Yes, sir”

Twenty minutes later Sho-Sha Ayumu Takawari of the 46th Dieron Regulars was secured to the truck frame that supported the interrogation tent.  The tent was brightly lit by an LED lantern but was otherwise lightproof, he could still taste the blood in his mouth when he bit his tongue while ejecting from his Grand Dragon.  The FLWM soldiers had also not seen fit to be tender when they grabbed him so his chest was sore from their “rough” handling.  The flap of the tent opened and General Marik stepped in alone, curious.

“Good morning, Photon-san”
“Ever polite Ayumu-san, except for last night, I expected better of you”
“Ever foolish Gaijan, I expected nothing less”

Photon leaned down to look the man in the eyes, still keeping a wary distance “Why?”
Ayumu spit on the ground, “Your people are a source of much shame Son of Marik.  The Coordinator has done the Combine a grave dishonor by the mere request of your presence, a dishonor that can only be washed away with your blood.  You are a constant reminder of how weak Theodore is or rather will have been after we are finished.  The Draconis Combine was once proud, feared, and respected, it relied on no one and took what it desired.  Now it is a laughing stock, weak and wheezing while the Inner Sphere passes us by, begging for scraps from the table of the Star League.  The Kokuryu-kai will raise a new banner above the Black Pearl tomorrow, so enjoy your meager victory, more will come for you.”

Photon punched him in the face and in doing so alleviated a lot of tension that he was feeling at the moment but replaced it with bruised knuckles, “Meager victory!  I overcame a surprise attack by a larger force.  You could not have created a better chance for success yet still you failed, the shame is all yours.  Perhaps the Combine’s time is through and people like you are the reason why.”
“You will not change my path yellow bird.  I am resigned to walk it until my death.”
“Very well”

A single gunshot was heard that sent the MPs toward the tent where Photon walked out.  “Sir, is everything alright?”
“Not yet but it will be.  See what you can get out of them, but we can’t take them with us so deal with them.”
“Yes sir”

Returning to the HQ tent Photon’s eyes were drawn to a piece of yellow paper with the FLWM insignia on it and he walked over to the supply office.  Chief Warrant Officer/Quartermaster Feldway had been anticipating his arrival sometime that morning and had a full report on the SSUs (20 ton Standard Shipping Units) for armor and ammunition ready for his perusal.  However Photon looked like he was going to ask a particularly difficult question.  Feldway ran through the possibilities before General Marik asked the last question anyone expected him to ask, “How much yellow paint do we have?”

The Supply Sergeants looking over reports on their clipboards exchanged awkward glances at one another, “Why sir?”

Photon Brett-Marik turned and looked at the ragged FLWM Battle Flag that still occupied the central post with its purple eagle wings outstretched and the tiny yellow origami crane that he held in the palm of his hand. His cousin Isis had taught him how to do simple origami when he first spent time on Luthien and he was just struck by inspiration.  He hoped wherever she was, her and Kitsune were doing much better than he was right now, “I have an idea.”

12/27/3067 04:47 Location – 05P Black Site, Kiyomori Mountains, Luthien, Draconis Combine

Franklin Sakamoto was hanging by his wrists from the chains set deep in the worked stone of this cave complex, he was only wearing thin pants against the chill of the stone around him and shivered.  His chest was bear and bore many bruises from the past week in captivity.  The Pillarine interrogator asked again, “Where is the boy?”

“I don’t know!”

“Lies!” a solid punch to his right side caused Franklin to grunt in pain, “We know that Theodore Kurita entrusted you to spirt Isis Marik and Kitsune, the son of Omiko and Victor Steiner-Davion, away from the Combine.”  The large man grabbed his throat and got nose to nose with him, “Where did you take them!?“

Franklin head butted the man breaking his nose and causing him to loosen his grip before kicking down the man’s thigh into his knee, “I don’t know where they went, and even if I did.  I wouldn’t tell you.”

The interrogator took a moment to clear his vision and grabbed the Neural Whip again, “You will pay for that!”

A voice came in over the speakers from the other side of the cameras set so there were no blind corners to hide, it was Mara, “That’s enough for today Ihad!  I’m sending in others to escort him back to his cell.”

Ihad got close but not too close to Franklin, pressing the Neural Whip to him which caused a powerful and extremely painful electric shock to the man.  “You are fortunate she still wants you in one piece, for whatever reason.  And that I haven’t gotten bored yet.”

12/25/3067 08:10 Location – Marcus, Crofton, Federated Commonwealth

Mrs Sarah Ruiz-Denòt (Isis Marik). Ian Ruiz (Kitsune Kuirta-Davion-Steiner), and Fabian Denòt (A well-established Water Engineer working to build infrastructure throughout the Outback) sat around the Christmas tree in their upscale house in Marcus opening presents.  Sarah laughed and kissed him under the mistletoe which still weirded Ian out but he was happy ten year old boy without a care in the world. He was different sure but made plenty of friends, his secret heritage never seeming a burden to either of them. Sarah was living to the fullest and the best adoptive mother a boy could ask for and a soon to be actual one which was something that she had to explain to her elementary school students so often that she could do it by rote now.  Their lives were happy being so far removed from the conflict that seemed to be cropping up Spherewide. 

Unaware of what was occurring in their home nations, they lived in the Commonwealth after all.  The most powerful Successor State in the Sphere, and the biggest target.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 12 May 2018, 06:58:45
Isis never catches a break...

A purple eagle on a yellow background- ick
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 15 May 2018, 19:13:01
02/07/3056 08:47 Location – Constance Island, Lyons, Federated Commonwealth

While the presence of Prince Peter Steiner-Davion in the Lyons FTM caused initial clashes with Free Skye the security forces had since then rounded up some ringleaders and banned subversive media, perhaps to heavy handedly but it wasn’t his call, so the violence went down to a low burn.  That along with subsidies and other support from the central government gave the Prince greater room to maneuver and mingle with the populace where they could see he wasn’t another blood sucking nobleman. 

Peter wasn’t exactly sure what he was but endeavored to do his best and accomplish his mission, not for his brother necessarily but because it was what a Prince of the Federated Commonwealth would do.  Katherine sent him an extensive collection of tips for dealing with the media, he had no idea how she managed to learn these things but they were working.  He still didn’t approve of her relationship with Galen Cox but that was more resentment by association with his brother and he was attempting to work through it.  Her and Galen were now engaged, he had to be happy for both of them, or she would happily make him miserable in the way only a sister can.

Thus far he managed to abstain from alcohol and the local women, though they did try to throw themselves at him which was most unfair, as well as control his temper which were no small victories and necessary considering how many people still attempted to provoke him.  There were times when he almost gave in to them but relaxed and moved on, last thing he needed was to be seen beating up an “innocent” civilian or linked to a scandal and ruin all the goodwill he was attempting to develop.

Today was thus far calm, the weather had begun to clear after weeks of rain it was good for the plants but bad for the people of Constance Island, a member of a volcanic island chain near the smallest and least developed of Lyon’s four continent, Pairse.  Due to the stabilizing security situation Peter began “sounding” tours to proactively discern and diffuse whatever problems he could.  He couldn’t fix the Commonwealth’s economy or kick the Clans out of their occupation zones, yet, but there were plenty of smaller problems that he might be able to address in order to build media and institutional momentum and avert a larger crisis.

As LFTM Patrol Boat #17 approached the island Peter was struck by Constance Island’s beauty, it had been compared to Terra’s Hawaii and many cultivars from there had been planted and thrived during the initial colonization wave.  The aromatic sea breeze was relaxing, the island’s legendary black sand beaches, lush jungles and jagged lava flows drew closer with each minute.  The boat’s diesel engine caused the deck to vibrate under his feet but was relatively quiet so he could hear the birds singing their mating calls. 

The ship approached LMCS (Lyons Marine Constabulary Station) Harper adjacent the expensive and exclusive beach town of Harper Cove and its very large marina where many sailboats, yachts, and even a few seaplanes were docked all of which were owned by one of the planet’s six tycoon families [Aria (Agricultural), Brachek (Black Metal Works), Cartier (Chemicals), Dilowan (Dynamics), Espinosa (Engineering), and Fei Ling (Financials)]. 

He wasn’t here for a vacation, though that was certainly something to consider for later.  Any of The Six would be more than willing to give him a bungalow as well as provide a young and attractive female relative to provide “company” for a few weeks if he asked.  It was initially amusing but now it was just as annoying as it was on Tharkad, at least there Victor took some of the heat off him while he pretended to not be a Prince.  Here he was the most eligible bachelor on world, couldn’t hide it, and only had the four Diplomatic Guards that sat next to him for protection when not with his unit. 

The vessel bumped into one of the Coast Guard station’s four docks and almost threw him over the gunwales as he was distracted, eliciting laughter from the crew.  Only two of the docks were currently in use as it wasn’t tourism season yet so they didn’t need to police civilian marine traffic just the standard commercial vessels that carried produce out and other goods in to the main port of Constance City on the other side of the island.  The Island didn’t have an air strip so everything had to be delivered by boat, helicopter, or K-1 drop-shuttle. 

Kommandant Peter walked over the gangway shaking hands and saluting the marine constables that had gathered at the end of the dock.  The ocean lapped gently on the ferrocrete quays that protected the station’s harbor and land facilities.  A pair of both navy gray Warrior Attack Helicopters and orange and white Marten transports were tied down at the helipad and the flag pole had the Tharkad planetary flag raised under the Lyons one.  A light blue uniformed man with dirty blonde hair with a fashionable (for a man) ponytail, blue eyes, in his late 20s walked up bowed and saluted to Peter, “Your Royal Highness, I am Commander William Felway, it is a great pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

Peter returned the salute, “We don’t need to stand on outright formality Commander.  I am a Kommandant in the AFFC that just so happens to be a Prince.  I would like all of you to call me Peter or Kommandant Steiner-Davion, understood?”

Hesitant ‘ayes’ rang through the crowd.  William looked around, “Everyone you are dismissed to return to your duties.  I’m certain Peter will stop by our humble base once more.”  The gathered constables returned to their stations as the Commander, Peter, and his security detail walked toward Headquarters.  One of the Diplomatic Guards opened the door and was followed by a fellow agent who swept the room for bugs before waving the Commander and Peter in, the other two Guards stayed outside to protect the door.  Commander Felway showed Peter a seat and took up position next to the giant map of the island that adorned the wall, “I understand you found something very interesting Commander”

“Aye sir, the last round of storms grounded a small civilian ship that was loaded with fertilizer on one of the nearby sand bars, the crew abandoned it and scrubbed the markings.  While investigating the ship my men were attacked by...presumably...FSM in Zodiacs with small arms and had to leave.  The ship was destroyed by them before we could summon helicopter gunships to chase them off and they disappeared back into the mangroves. 

The fertilizer likely came from one of the Aria Agricultural farms on the island, we’ve had trouble with theft as these farms are remote and I don’t have enough men on station to watch all of them at once and I don’t want to allow any more Blue Steel mercs in…we’ve had difficulties since they started showing up.  However, Valeria Aria is growing quite irritated with these thefts as they are affecting her bottom line and I may not have the option of refusing her mercenaries a post where I can’t keep an eye on them much longer.”
“I assume you got the relevant details to track back the ownership of the vessel.”
“Yes, we sent over what we had this morning after our satellite link came back into alignment.  It will probably take them a few days to find out who owns it and if they knew.”
“How much fertilizer?”
“We estimate twenty tons of ammonia nitrate, combine that with marine fuel oil, and you have a basic bomb.  Use enough and you can flip a Battlemech or bring down a building.”
“Jesus Christ!  Good find on your part Commander.  It puts my mind slightly at ease knowing the FSM has less explosives.  You may have saved hundreds of lives.”
“I hope so Peter.  I am one hundred percent behind your latest Charm offensive to the people of Lyons and the Isle of Skye.  Anything I can do to help please tell me, I want an end to the violence, we only hurt ourselves and accomplish nothing.”
“Thank you for the update Commander.  I have to attend to other business on the island but I would like to stop by and have dinner with the men if I can manage it with my schedule.”
“I’m certain they would be very appreciative of your presence Peter.  Keep your eyes open out there.  It is getting difficult to trust some players in the game even though it has been quiet recently, I fear it will get much worse.”
“I hope you’re wrong Commander.  Enjoy the rest of your day.”

As he exited the Commander had one last thing to say, “Keep close to that radio Peter and your gun.  The choppers can be anywhere on the island in twenty minutes.”  Peter unconsciously put his hand on his sidearm, a M&G 510 securely in a holster on his brown web belt which contrasted ever so slightly against the khaki fatigues they were wearing (The DGs had SMGs and ballistic vests which he did not).

Peter stepped back out and one of his security men muttered something into his headset, “Peter, they will be here in six minutes, East Gate.”

The five men approached the East Gate where three MCs stood guard they were watching the short convoy of trucks come down the gravel road from “Blueblood Cove”.  The three gray-green trucks pulled up and circled the road waiting for their passengers, the Blue Steel Logo featured prominently on the hood and each side of the armored 4x4 “Swamp Cat” trucks, each was semi-amphibious, capable of fording three meters of water, could shrug off most small arms, and each had a light machine gun attached to a pintel mount overhead for a gunner.  The middle truck opened its rear doors and two men and a woman stepped out each was wearing Tiger Stripe camouflage battledress, black armored vest, and carrying a TK Assault Rifle on a sling with a TK Enforcer pistol holstered across their vest.

The larger man had his sleeves rolled up properly to show off numerous tattoos accumulated during his career in the LCAF and as a Merc, his close cropped black hair revealed several scars across the top of his head and he possessed intense brown eyes.  The man bowed to Peter with practiced ease, “Greetings Your Royal Highness, I am Captain Gunner Pohl of Blue Steel PMC.  A pleasure to meet you face to face. We’ll be sure to take good care of you while you are on Constance, don’t you worry about anything.  My people have everything under control.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 17 May 2018, 09:58:26
02/08/3056 09:17 Location – Constance Island, Lyons, Federated Commonwealth

Three grey-green armored trucks worked their way through the lush jungles of Constance Island, gravel crunching under their tires, and dappled sunlight reached them from the canopy.  The cover and the fact that there were active FSM on the island put Peter’s Chief of Security Titus Firenzi on edge.  He watched the jungle like a hawk from the bench seat of their Swamp Cat through the thick “bulletproof” glass, the shadows of the leaves overhead playing across his olive skin, a professional middleweight boxer in a previous life Titus had proven very capable during his time on Lyons for someone still rather new to the service, “You know I didn’t approve of this little trip Peter.”

Peter paid attention to his surroundings as well but he was paying more attention to their Blue Steel escorts fore and aft than the jungle around them.  He had explicitly ordered the mercs to keep the hatches shut and not man the roof mounted machine guns during their trip to the conservation center despite Captain Pohl’s fierce disagreement.  He had already compromised to both of them enough to be seated in this armored car escorted by a Merc squad rather than in a more civilian and photogenic vehicle with regular police. “I know Titus but my schedule is not up to you.  You just make sure I’m safe when I get there.”

“You do keep my job interesting at least.”
“I hope not to interesting.”

The four vehicle convoy showed up at the Native Jungle Cat Conservatory where a crowd of onlookers was eagerly awaiting the Prince’s arrival.  Tan clad police manned the barricade and cleared a path before Peter arrived.  The vehicle stopped and waited while he got himself in the right mindset, he looked over to Titus, “How does Katherine do this all the time?”

Titus put on his sunglasses and checked his pistol, “Don’t know sir, but have you seen the size of her Security Chief?  The man is a monster.”  He flexed and shook himself out, ready to take point, and if necessary a bullet, “This didn’t grow out of thin air but someone carved that man out of stone.  I swear he is an Elemental pulled from Outreach or some such.”

Linette Turner had camped out all morning for this moment, without many options she was now roommates with her friend Gabbie in Constance City sharing a too small apartment with a sky high rent.  Derek and Adrian were still back in Clovis’ Point trying to figure out the next step but she needed a job, any job. 

She had arrived on the island a week ago with only her bike, a small backpack, camera, and very little money in her pocket.  Right now she was straining to get a good picture of Prince Peter exiting the vehicle hoping to get something she could sell to a magazine and if possible get a statement from him later after he finished up here. 

She was tired, her stomach was growling as the granola bar she had for breakfast was used up, her legs hurt from standing so long but her camera was up and snapped several quick pictures of Peter entering the Conservatory.  She had a press pass from the 4th rate local rag the Constance Courier so she was allowed in with the group where so many other larger operations were shut out.  She walked in with smug satisfaction as her competitors were shown the door by police.

As much as she didn’t like to admit it, due to his association with the cabal of industrialists that ran everything on Lyons, she thought the Prince handsome; tall, red hair, fit, he was wearing stylish outdoorsman clothes and looked every bit a leader of men.  He also had a reputation as a Casanova that he did little to dissuade and despite her best efforts however she couldn’t dig up any recent liaisons on planet which would have been juicy stories.  It hurt her pride that she had been forced to deal with scandal mags rather than speak truth to power and expose all the dirty dealings of The Six like a true journalist but she had bills to pay.

Peter was there with a select group of conservationists and sportsmen to visit the center, the staff there were about to reintroduce the Golden Leopard to its native jungles.  The captive breeding program had been remarkably successful and Peter walked around listening intently to the zoologists and handlers, shaking hands and thanking them for all their hard work.  He found time to feed several adults and pet some juveniles, a very adorable picture of him with a juveline Golden Leopard over his shoulders would be a nice magazine pic and that made Linette very happy.  It was all very heartwarming and would play well for a few days maybe a week. 

However, soon it would disappear replaced by news from the Clan Front, another riot in the Isle of Skye, or some hit piece on Victor or his close allies which would steal the news cycle and everyone would go back to being distracted and angry.  Food and Fuel costs had come down in the region which along with a crackdown on divisive media and organizers had taken much of the bite out of the Free Skye movement but it still burned below.  She hoped Derek and Adrian stayed clear of the group because they were organizing something big and she didn’t want any of her friends hurt in the aftermath.

As he finished up he asked if there were any questions that the five assembled journalists would like answered, most of them were rather tame.  However, Linette asked a very tough question, “It is all nice and good that you are here today for this event Prince Peter.  However, are you ever going to get around to addressing the real concerns of the people?  Rather than keep distracting us with pictures of you petting kittens and giving out awards at fancy galas.” 

He was taken by surprise but before he could answer one of the local police grabbed and escorted her out of the area, taking her press pass in the process.  She attempted to take it back but he was stronger than she was, “You can’t take that!”

The officer calmly put the pass into his pocket, “I can miss.  I’m certain your editor will not appreciate you asking these sorts of questions.  If he sees fit to retain your services as a reporter you will have it returned to you.”

Then the door was shut in her face, “What a jerk!”  She shrugged her shoulders and sighed, “I guess I wasn’t making any money there anyway.”

She found her bike and began heading back to the city, the pleasant weather turned rotten and it began raining again. “This day can’t get much worse”  Closer to the city her front tire went flat after hitting a large piece of gravel, she looked at the heavens in despair, “You have to be kidding me!” Shouldering the bike she walked the rest of the way to the apartment and locked it up.  Getting a shower and changing before heading to her actual job under an umbrella.

As she walked in to the small local seafood restaurant (Finest Catch) where she worked as a waitress she noticed it was eerily quiet for a Friday night.  Her boss ran up to her, she was unusually animated, “Oh Linette!  You’re here finally.  Quick take these to the back room.  I have so much to do!”  She pointed to a tray of drinks, “What’s going on?”
“No time, big party in the back room.”
  The woman ran back into the kitchen, Linette grabbed the tray and walked toward the back room, two men stood next to the door, “This better not be Cartier’s nephew or Blue Steel again.  They are a menace and don't tip.”

The men opened the door for her and as she cleared it she could see Peter and a large group of people from the Conservatory sitting around the table.  Linette’s expression, voice, and body language collapsed in defeat, “Why me?”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 17 May 2018, 15:45:09
The Finest Catch was a dive family run restaurant situated in the blue collar Ferry District of Constance City next to the docks.  The inhabitants of which were at times salty but hard working folk that provided for their families and worked in the extravagant places of the more upscale districts and Harper’s Cove.  However, Prince-Kommandant Peter Steiner-Davion was not one for high-brow entertainment or fare.  He much preferred military men that did things rather than pretended, any fare better than garrison rations was plenty enough, and unfortunately for the Steiner Family Trust, University of Tharkad, and his own heartache, pretty women of moderate breeding were more interesting to him than the haughty noblewomen that haunted the Triad and bored him immensely even if they were stunningly gorgeous and many were. 

Katherine had taken him to an Opera once as an escort attempting to match him up with a friend of hers and he nearly fell asleep during the performance.  Only waking up when the heel of her shoe was kicked into his calf like a stirrup into the flanks of a horse.  The pain of which caused him to shoot up and hit the back of his head on the chair dazing him and causing great amusement to his loving but mischievous older sister. Her footman was then ordered to take him back to the Palace to prevent any future embarrassment and he gladly left such silly things to her. 

He was laughing at some inappropriate joke told by one of the sportsman’s league representatives when a familiar woman walked through the door with their drinks.  The reporter for the conservation center that asked an actual question rather than some tame inquiry was now their waitress.  She was pretty, short brown hair, bright eyes, tan lines still showed around the snugly fitted top and shorts she was wearing which meant she was probably new to the island.  She halted at the sight of him clearly concerned, unfortunately attracting even more attention than she appeared comfortable with as she looked mortified. 

Peter walked up to her which caused her to shrink slightly from him toward the door before taking his citrus soda from the tray, breaking the silence and smiling to everyone, “Drinks are here fellas.”  He kindly encouraged her to continue.  With the Prince apparently unconcerned everyone else relaxed and they placed their orders.

As soon as Linette got all the orders she ran to the kitchen to put them in but had to stop before pitching in as she was having trouble breathing, “I can’t go back in there Mama Vaya.”

“Mama” Vaya, as she liked to be called, was a matronly woman in her sixties with graying black hair, her skin had remained olivine having lived on the island almost all of her years. Past pictures in the restaurant and living proof in her own children proved that she was a stunner in her earlier years and had aged gracefully.  Her husband was still working the water except he owned the boat now and their youngest son captained it under his direction.  A kindly soul she was more than happy to hire strays, like Linette, provided they did good work and minded their manners lest she “smac’a” them with a wooden spoon for being ‘saucy.’

She was currently working overtime as the tourism season hadn’t started yet so her grandchildren, who typically spent rotating portions of their school breaks working in the restaurant and enjoying the island, were not yet available to assist her and they never had a party of 28 containing a Prince sit at their restaurant before.  Thus Linette was her only help at the moment after the previous girl took some time off after being harassed by Blue Steel who made a habit of being banned in many places.  Vaya chased the group of them out of her restaurant with a cleaver and they hadn’t been back since.

“Nonsense! You silly girl.  You will got back in there and you will smile and the Prince will remember you.  Maybe you kiss.”

Linette went beet red at such an image which did not help her anxiety, “No, that’s not it.  Problem is he does remember me from this morning.”

Vaya was rapidly working between multiple bubbling pots and sizzling griddles picking out things with her bare hands at times and squeezing them to see whether they were done, “See you halfway there already.  Now chop’a the vegetables and check the jambalaya, should be almost done.  Then pull the things out of the fryer.”

Mama had a filet knife in hand and used it to emphasize her point, “No Buts!  Very busy.  Get to work girl.”

Linette helped and worked up enough courage to go back in to complete the meal though it took a lot out of her to be nice and not break down in terror each time she walked through the doors.  With the meal concluded Peter thanked them for their hospitality and fine food staying for after dinner drinks before the remainder of his group departed.  He paid the very large tab and left a hearty tip before Vaya and Linette had to clean up for the night he said something she didn’t expect, “Miss Turner, I’m terribly sorry about this morning that officer was out of line and has been sufficiently rebuked for his misconduct.  We attempted to find you afterwards but you had disappeared.”  He signaled for something from one of his security men and handed it to her, “You can have your press pass back and I am willing to answer your question.” 

He looked over to his Chief of Security who didn’t like where this was going. “However, we have no more time this evening and I must return.  Would you be willing to sit down with me for an interview?”
Her eyes went wide in disbelief, “You want to give me an exclusive interview with you?”
“For real, no tricks.”
“No tricks, just tell me what you want to ask so I can prepare.”
“We’re on the island till Tuesday right Titus?”
“Yes sir, four more days.”
“Sometime before Tuesday then.”
“I don’t have a phone how can I reach you?”
“You don’t have a phone eh…”
  Peter looked over to his Chief of Security again, “Titus give this young lady your phone.”
Titus pulled out his phone and offered it, “Yes sir,” then hesitated and pulled it back, “wait, MY PHONE”
“Yes Titus, Linette can’t call me on my phone if she has it.”
“But this is an LIC issue Black Argent Phone, I signed for this”
“Yes well we don’t want people listening in on our pre-interview talk do we now.  We’ll get it back after our interview so unlock it and delete or lock down anything that you don’t want the world to see.”
“Mister Firenzi, give Miss Turner your phone, that’s an order.”

He toggling settings that locked down the top secret heavily encrypted parts and just allowed a basic interface before placing the phone on the table in front of them.  “The Director is going to have your head for this Peter.”
“Nonsense, he works for my brother, I’m certain he would be willing to do the same considering the circumstances.”
He attempted to shake her hand but she hugged him instead which took him by surprise, embarrassed by her rash action she released him and went red with embarrassment, “I do hope you have a good evening Miss Turner.  I look forward to your call.”

Peter walked out of the establishment into the idling car and drove away leaving her dizzy but it had to just be not eating anything today, nothing more, couldn't be anything more.

Mama Vaya silently watching the whole thing from the kitchen. “See told you halfway there, now get back to work.  We clean up.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 22 May 2018, 16:56:01
Author's Note

I was struggling with exactly where to go with this scene so I put it out to you the audience.  You are the journalists here.  I've given you a taste of the character and the canonicity of the era (at this moment) is mostly unchanged.  What questions do you have for my Peter Ardan Steiner-Davion, Duke of Tharkad, Prince of the Federated Commonwealth?

I have a few already planned but will entertain even the silliest suggestions, such things would make my writing far more enjoyable


02/09/3056 07:00 Location – Constance City, Lyons, Federated Commonwealth

Linette Turner woke up and dressed in one of her three sets of clean clothes, opening her nightstand and pulling out the roll of Kroner from the tip money counting it again before placing it back inside.  She never had so much cash on hand and desperately needed to go shopping, there were no TV worthy outfits among her current wardrobe especially for something as big as a one-on-one interview with a charming and handsome Prince.  Her head was still dizzy from last night's encounter which had spawned a few (dozen) dreams that Peter featured in but she shook her head at such fantasies.

“You must have gotten too much sun yesterday girl, you are acting crazy.  Just an interview because he felt bad for you, nothing more, even the smile was just because he didn't want you to feel embarrassed.  And you hugged him!”

Just Gabbie's sun-kissed dyed blonde head looked in on her from the beaded curtain that served as her door.  The walls were thin they could hear nearly anything that happened in the apartment.  They were from the same area on Glastone and she had always been a massive gossip, “Who'd you hug! tellme! tellme!”
“I'll tell you but only if you make breakfast today”
Gabbie entered wearing just her current boyfriend's t-shirt after seeing she wasn't naked with a guy, pausing just inside the door combing out her bed hair, “Argh! Fine, it better be good though Lin.”

With her roommate distracted she pulled the phone out and dialed her former producer.
“Derek it's Lin, you are not going to believe this but I have an exclusive interview for us.”
“Why are you calling from a blocked number?  Doesn't matter.  You know we can't broadcast it anyway, they took my license away.”
“I think we can convince them to give it back.”
“Unless your subject is Peter that doesn't seem likely”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 23 May 2018, 06:00:05
I bet LIC is listening to everything around that phone anyway...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 23 May 2018, 19:35:04
02/12/3056 10:00 Location – LMCS Harper, Lyons, FedCom

The Harper Cove Lighthouse was a splendid retro style lighthouse, the gold and red stripes made a striking impression on the sea. The tower built more for ornamentation rather than function although it did mark the division of Harper’s Cove and LMCS Harper.  The powerful light was currently unlit as Peter stood looking out over the sparkling blue water of the bay that stretched to the horizon in front of him, breathing deeply of the salty sea air.  “A fine view indeed Titus, excellent choice for our venue today.”

Titus was dressed in his normal uniform with a rangefinder binoculars handing from his neck on a canvas strap.  “I still don’t like this Peter, you saw her profile both of her parents and brother are Free Skye serving prison at Fire Rock.  Her producer and cameraman have a record and this Derek had his license revoked for subversion, yet you granted it back to him.”

Peter was now calming sitting down reviewing his answers to the questions that Linette had forwarded to him, “All of them are serving time for nonviolent offenses.  I think The Six are putting too much pressure on the locals here for organizing laborers and engaging in strikes and sickouts.  I’ll admit that this is not my strength; but how much harm could she cause?”
“Sir, the pen is mightier than the sword. All of that hostile propaganda is causing us real problems throughout the region.”
“You think I haven’t noticed that!  Why else do you think I agreed to the interview?  If I keep hiding and don’t make a comment I can’t control the message.”
“Control the message?  Did you talk to your sister recently?  That is something she would say.”
“It was in the notes she sent me before,”
Peter crossed his arms, “you know we’re not talking at the moment.  Victor or someone on Tharkad must have told her I don’t entirely approve of her choice of fiancé.”
Titus looked sharply toward him, this was just the sort of attitude he was sent to check by Victor, “You have a streak of hypocrisy going there for a Prince who likes commoners himself.  Have you ever actually taken an interest in a noblewoman? Surely there is a fine one out there that would make an excellent wife; or do you just so enjoy using your princely privilege on those co-eds?  You’re going to have to get over that, it’s a bad idea to have both of your older siblings against you, made worse by the specific individuals involved.”
“We’ve going to end this conversation right here Titus.  I already have enough concerns without bringing in family or relationship drama.”
“I’m glad to hear it,”
He tilted his head as something came in on the radio and put the binoculars to his eyes looking out at the Black Avanti AV7 Hoverlimo coming across the bay. “Here she comes sir.  ETA Ten minutes.”

In the limo Linette, Derek, and Adrian were all tightly huddled.  Derek put his hand on her shoulders, “Lin you sure you’re up for this?”
“I can do it Derek,”
she repeated it trying to convince herself, “I can do it; but I am super nervous.”
“I know.  I never thought I would get my license back but LPN is back online with an exclusive interview, and it’s all thanks to you.”

Adrian put his sunglasses back on as the Limo approached the peninsula, “You know they’re going to edit it right?”
“Of course they are.  I have no reservations about it that’s why I didn’t include anything controversial.  Although Lin don’t go off-script too much but do try to throw him some curves.”

Lin blushed slightly at the comment, her TV ready outfit threw curves for days. Her light blue blouse had a lower cut, was tight fitting with thin cloth, and revealed her tanned shoulders, the white skirt was nicely patterned but too short to be professional, and she wore fashionable wedge shoes.  Gabbie used all her skill to do up her hair and makeup as well before they left the house, “I didn’t mean it like that.  I take it back.”

“No it’s okay Derek, it’s not like I could go back to the mainland and get a nicer dress.  I had to work with what was in the tourist shops.”
  She adjusted the skirt where it was revealing too much leg, “They just didn’t give me a lot of material to work with.” 

The limo pulled up to a clear area just outside the lighthouse where Peter’s bodyguards and four Marine Constables were waiting.  The three of them stepped out of the hoverlimo and were greeted by Titus Firenzi, Peter’s Chief of Security, who was dressed in his jungle fatigues with his protective vest on, the stern and demanding man put his hand palm up toward Linette.  “Hand it over Miss Turner”

Linette let out a sigh, reaching into her newly purchased designer red leather purse to take out the rugged black and silver phone, “Thank you for letting me borrow you phone Mister Firenzi.”  He received the phone looking it over quickly before pressing some buttons and the unit chimed musically as it returned to its normal operating mode, “We’ve already cleared your friends and despite my reservations you are all going to be allowed up there but I need to check your equipment for security reasons.  Please follow me.”

The trio and their equipment were thoroughly searched and were then allowed up to the Lighthouse.  Derek and Adrian took their positions below the main deck operating the cameras remotely, leaving Linette and Peter with only a smooth metal table between them which bore a pitcher of Lemon water.  Peter was truly regal, his dark blue and gold trimmed AFFC uniform with the Nagelring’s sky blue sash around his waist was mostly undecorated as he was only in his first tour but had a badge of nobility (Silver Sword and Gauntlet crossed at a right angle, with three Golden Sunbursts along the top) across the left breast of his coat.  His hair was carefully combed and she noticed he had a bit more of a tan since she had last seen him which made him even more handsome. He also noticed her but attempted to hide it, she tried to ignore it as well, this was already going to be a difficult task without distraction. 

The microphone was set up on the table and she put the earphone in that would connect her to Derek downstairs doing all the backstage things while she was the composed interviewer, something that would take her whole focus.  She gave the signal to Derek to start the cameras which turned on with a bright red light showing they were now recording.

“This is Linette Turner with Lyons Planetary News, here with Kommandant Peter Steiner-Davion, Duke of Tharkad, and a Prince of the Federated Commonwealth high atop Harper Lighthouse on Constance Island.  Thank You for sitting with me today Kommandant, it is a great privilege to have you serving with our Militia during your first tour out of the Nagelring.”

“Thank You Linette, just call me Peter.  I try not to sit on ceremony unless it is absolutely necessary.  This is a beautiful planet and I’m happy to serve its people in whatever capacity they would have me.”

“Do you resent being here instead of in the Melissa Theater facing the Clans?  You brother’s cordial relationship with the Draconis Combine has proven difficult to reconcile to those that have suffered greatly at their hand.  It has in fact been cited as the root of many people’s issue with him in both parts of the Commonwealth.  Some even say you have fallen out of favor and given an impossible task as punishment.”

That was not part of the script and Peter immediately reacted poorly to it as he attempted to suppress the anger that has been held back.  Lin’s earpiece came to life as she remained composed, “Lin what the hell are you doing!?”

“Asking the hard questions”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 24 May 2018, 05:00:38
Oops.  Guess she needs to sleep with the fishes...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Sharpnel on 24 May 2018, 06:38:09
She's just doing her job. This is no puff pice, it's an exposé. As you Aussies would say "Good on her" or words to that effect.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 24 May 2018, 16:23:43
Linette sat there looking awful happy with herself as Peter attempted to remain calm as he barely kept his anger in check.  This woman had ambushed him with another question just like before even though he had treated her with the utmost respect thus far.  What did he expect?  She would just follow the script and then agree for some “exclusive face-to-face time.”  He felt like a complete fool.

His mind was racing and she seemed to enjoy watching him sweat for the camera.  She wanted a story and regardless of what he wanted to do right now she would get one. He hadn’t spent the last months standing firm to provocateurs without learning a few things about control.  Already on thin ice, if he blew right now it was going to be a long trip away from Tharkad in exile to some even worse planet.  Clearing his throat Peter made sure his voice was kept smooth and level.

“That is quite the series of questions and statements you have Miss Turner.  I will do my best to address them to your satisfaction.

What makes you think I resent being here?  As an Officer in the AFFC my Commander-in-Chief has ordered me to serve in the LFTM.  The fact that he is my brother is immaterial, I took an oath to follow the Executive and Officers appointed above me, just as I expect my younger brother will do when he gets out of the Battle Academy on Robinson. 

These past few months I have learned more than my years at Nagelring could have taught me about service; and the difficulty and rewards inherent in it.  It may not be the most storied command but no one in the Militia feels their service is less valuable than the Tenth or other Guards regiments including myself.

Peace may be an impossible task as you say but that doesn't make it not worth attempting.  I assure you that despite these rumors you speak of, The Archon-Prince on Tharkad, and Princess on New Avalon, remain supportive of me.  They wish to see an end to the difficulties in this region and have thus empowered me to act toward resolving them. 

As for the particular criticism of Victor, I cannot make a comment to what he thinks or how he acts but he is an honorable man and I trust implicitly that he has the Commonwealth's best interests at heart when he does either.  I know he is a bit unseasoned, but everyone is a beginner once and he has good advisors in his corner, he will live up to the office that has been entrusted to him.”

Linette was noticeably deflated by that expecting something more of an angry response based on his initial reaction.  Peter eagerly awaited her next hard question. He wouldn’t be intimidated by a journalism student and it was so rare that a woman challenged him, it was oddly refreshing in fact.

“Do you feel as if you could do a better job?  Many would prefer you to take Victor’s place as Archon-Prince as they question his judgement.  Others think you should take over on New Avalon and wish Katherine to return to the Lyran portion of the Commonwealth.”

“As I cannot even legally serve in that capacity for several more years I cannot speculate how I would do in Victor’s position even if I wanted it.  I believe that my time on Lyons and my next tour wherever it may be will build experience and confidence in my abilities.  Both of which will be necessary to inspire others as Victor does and if necessary take over should something terrible happen.  One can only hope that I find my Galen Cox somewhere along the way to ground me so that I may reach greater heights.  As for Katherine she is content on New Avalon and I have no wish to interfere with their arrangement.”

“So you approve of his marrying your sister, even though he is of common birth and your brother’s friend?”

She was paying close attention to him as he was forming that last sentence and saw it wasn’t entirely authentic.  Damn her good instincts, Peter took a deep breath and collected his thoughts while struggling to maintain his composure.

“I cannot control my sister’s heart, if she thinks him worthy of her hand in marriage…that is enough for me.  While we are on the subject, they will be returning to the Commonwealth within the next few months.  I wish them safe travels and look forward to seeing them again.”

Now that was exclusive, he had asked Titus whether or not that could be announced yet for security reasons but knew any journalist would love to get that scoop.  Linette did indeed light up at the mention of the media darling “Fairy Tale” couple returning to the Tharkad.  Hopefully that would keep her away from more sensitive topics for a little while. 

Mollified she returned to the originally planned questions and the remainder of the interview was uneventful.  There were a few moments where she ventured off-script asking for additional information but Peter’s preparation was through and he didn’t pause before giving his reply.

An hour later they wrapped things up, Peter smiled at his interviewer after taking another sip of water, “I would have appreciated some advance warning before you went off script Miss Turner.”

She smiled back, “That wouldn’t have been authentic of me Peter.”
“Of course, I appreciate your courage not many journalists have that kind of spine to ask directly or the passion to seek the truth.”

She nodded, “Thank You, that is very kind”

Peter leaned in close, “I have a proposal to offer you.”
“Even after all that?”
“Yes, how would you like a job?”

She tilted back and eyed him suspiciously, “What kind of job?”
“Public Relations”

She killed her mic feed and leaned forward which made him uncomfortable, “Are you sure it’s not just because you really just want private ones?”

Such a bold claim took him by surprise and forced him to return to his chair so quickly it almost tilted back, “That is not my intent Linette.  I need a publicist nothing more, I don’t want you to take things the wrong way.  I appreciate your nerves of steel and feel you have been wronged by people that seek to do others harm and would like your help in ensuring they don’t.”
Will you accept my offer?”

She paused a moment thinking about it, “When do we start?”
“An hour ago.”

Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 24 May 2018, 20:21:00
 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 24 May 2018, 21:24:42
3/18/3056 21:47 Location – Ryan Steiner’s Mansion, Allison City, Porrima, FedCom

Duke Ryan Kelswa-Steiner looked out over the gathered crowd past the white streams of cigar smoke that rose ever so elegantly up the exhaust fans above but whose acrid fragrance could be picked up in the next wing of the Mansion.  Ten of the biggest movers and shakers from the Isle of Skye were gathered for this little meeting, a nice friendly game of poker with a side of conspiracy.  Free Skye, the organization dedicated to the independence of the March from Tharkad’s oversight, taxes, and rules.  Different from the other Free Skye, the populist movement dedicated to the removal of the rightful nobles in favor of something different and less abusive.

“He’s getting to close and things are too quiet on our front.  We need to get some headlines people!”

One of the shadowed people stood up, Duke George Cartier of Lyons aka Leo, “How about Peter and that little dime he has on retainer?  Scandal in the making that one, I have pics, we can work something up.  She a pain in the ass to deal with too, always snooping around, asking too many questions.”

“That’s nothing Leo, it can’t compete with this.  No one cares unless she has a kid.”  Ryan activated the TV behind him that showed the latest news from Katherine and Galen’s engagement tour that had taken every reputable and disreputable media outlet by storm.  “That little clip right there was the number one viewed piece of media in all of the Inner Sphere for the past week beating out Kai kicking the crap out of some such Liao Mechwarrior that was in a Highlander by fifteen points.  With Peter calming the peasants down, Victor hunting us down, and Katherine drowning us in a saccharine spotlight we’re running out of momentum.  We need to get the ball rolling with something big, I want you all to think about it overnight and give me some ideas by breakfast.”

His visitors well departed he looked around and locked the door from his notepad and enabled the white noise generator.  He got close to Katherine’s face looking into her eyes through the screen, “You’re not giving me a lot of options Scorpio.”  Slowly he put his hand over her neck, “Our deal might be forfeit sooner than you like.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 25 May 2018, 03:39:28
Katy's neck... everyone wants to stretch it...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Sharpnel on 25 May 2018, 04:34:28
Funny, I thought they all wanted to constrict it.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 25 May 2018, 18:08:10
INN News Service

Firefighters have extinguished the Allegro Hotel fire, tragically Galen Cox and five other citizens perished in what appears to be a natural gas leak.  Fire Marshals are investigating the explosion but right now there is no evidence of foul play.  Princess Katherine is safe but will no longer make public appearances until the investigation has been concluded.  Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion extends his condolences to his sister and will privately mourn the loss of his friend.  He has sent his brother to Solaris and asks that all of your prayers and well wishes be sent to his grieving sister.

04/23/3056 03:47 Location - Solaris City Spaceport, Solaris VII, FedCom

Peter Steiner-Davion touched down at the Solaris VII Spaceport aboard a KR-61 Shuttle rushed from Lyons to Solaris.  He and Titus had taken a command circuit put in place shortly after Galen’s assassination being briefed midway at the attempted murder of Katherine as well.

He could see the Monarch Dropship, FCS Princess of Avalon, preparing for departure.  The vessel should be doing so on some happier planet or Tharkad.  Katherine’s engagement cruise had gone so horribly wrong and he could feel nothing but regret that he had been so boorish with her and Galen.  Now Galen was dead and Katherine had almost followed him into the afterlife. 

The shuttle landed on screeching tires at the busy spaceport in the shadow of many other dropships both FedCom and League.  One of which had brought a company of Royal Guards from Tharkad.  Their Blue and Gold Battlemechs surrounded the White and Red painted Dove Class, MOCHS Temperance, parked near the end of the Spaceport’s Aerodyne Tarmac and surrounded with a hodgepodge city of shipping containers and tents. 

The two of them were greeted by a team of Katherine’s bodyguards including her Chief of Security, as Titus had described the man was a beast but his bald head was down in defeat and shame. “I’m sorry.  I failed Peter.  I would like to tender my resignation.”

He looked toward the larger man putting a hand on his shoulder, “I understand Krauser believe me I do.  However, I cannot accept your resignation, you will have to ask Katherine herself if you have failed.  She’s not dead and I understand your team saved her life and still managed to find the culprit although thus far the body is unidentifiable.” 

Peter took his hand off Krauser and looked over at his Security Chief, “Titus go with Krauser, prep the dropship and shuttle for our departure.”

“Aye Sir,” Both men headed off to the Monarch with a larger group of security. Titus was there to ensure Krauser’s thus far perfect preparation did not suffer.  Also to provide moral support to the man that had almost let his charge die and had lost the life of Galen Cox, Victor’s best friend and Katherine’s Prince-Consort.

Peter now surrounded by Katherine’s Guards took a jeep across the Tarmac toward the Temperance.  Medical and Aid Helicopters still flew in and out carrying casualties and cargo to supply the larger temporary hospital the Canopians had set up for lower grade casualties.  Saving their valuable intensive care beds inside the dropship for higher risk cases. 

The sky was threatening rain, likely a welcome relief as Peter could see the towers of smoke from blazes that continued to burn out large sections of Solaris City even several weeks into the disaster.  The white tents were blowing in the wind as nurses and their assistants closed up the wards against the incoming weather.  Peter saw urban camouflaged 1st Royal Tharkad Jump Troopers patrolling the perimeter while their Battlemechs stood quietly scanning the horizon.  They waved the jeep through seeing the Royal banner flying from it.

Peter walked aboard the Temperance and was greeted by Dr Seraphina Bhola, a young doctor with a thick accent.  “Prince Peter, please follow me.”

The two of them walked through the corridors to the intensive care ward, “What happened to my sister Doctor?”

“Your sister was poisoned, she almost died twice.  There were complications…I’m afraid I can’t say anything more.  We believe she will make a full recovery but it will take time and be very difficult.  I will provide you with a copy of the medications we are giving her to ensure she maintains compliance.”

Two of Katherine’s guards stood at the door unarmed, arms crossed, as they were aboard a neutral non-combat vessel.  They saluted Peter as he walked up and opened the door.  Katherine was pale, lacking all the normal luster of her personality, a tray of uneaten food still at her bedside.  “Peter?”

Peter walked up to her bedside and embraced her tightly, both of them crying freely, “Katherine, I'm so sorry about Galen and so happy you're still alive.”

She returned the embrace harder, “What are you doing here?”
He broke the embrace, cleared his eyes and voice, “Victor wants me to bring you to Tharkad.”
She hesitated and pulling the blanket closer around her, “I'm not going to Tharkad, take me to Gallery.”

He looked at her confused, “Why?”
“Just do it, or you'll have to drag me there kicking and screaming.”
  She was wringing her hands under the blanket, “I'm not ready to go there yet.”

INN News Report

Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion continues to contend with an increasingly restive Skye Province, he has extended the subsidies to its inhabitants but sentiment continues to build against him as more rumors circulate that he was responsible for the death of his mother, Melissa Steiner-Davion, last year.  Unverified reports also claim he might have been involved in the bombing that killed Galen Cox and the attempted murder of his sister Katherine on Solaris VII.  Spokesmen for the Princess vociferously deny this but her current location remains unknown.  Kommandant Peter Steiner-Davion has returned to duty in the theater and is attempting to bring a civil end to the growing unrest.

05/18/3056 Location – Blacktree Estate, New Stockholm, Gallery, FedCom

Katherine stood alone in the cool, damp, concrete underground rail terminal and pulled her dark blue wool coat closer.  Three weeks and it still felt so fresh, she just needed to be alone for a while to get herself back together.  She was glad to be rid of her brother, he meant well but she was in no mood to be congenial.  Dowager Duchess Nondi Steiner walked through the utilitarian doorway with a pair of black suited porters who walked over to take her grandniece's luggage, the larger older woman embraced her, “I'm so sorry Katrina”

“Aunt Nondi, I don't know what to do now.  Everything I ever wanted was just torn away from me in a week.  I just need some time away from all this.”

“It will be fine dear, you can stay as long as you like.  I'll show you to your room.”

The world of Gallery was a dismal place, the orange dwarf sun lacked the power to break through the constant rain clouds.  Like everything in the Lyran Commonwealth the Blacktree Estate on this planet had been built to last, it was mostly underground but there were surface structures that interrupted the large forest of Blacktrees, a genetically engineered dwarf Oak capable of surviving on the meager sunlight and rocky soils of Gallery.

Nondi Steiner walked Katherine through the Blacktree Estate stopping shortly at the kitchens for a fresh mug of tea.  Her niece looked dreadful and she could understand her sister, Katherine’s Grandmother, Katrina looked the same way after her husband died of cancer and left her daughter without a father. “Kat I feel so terrible about what happened to you.  Would you like to talk about it?”

Katherine looked out over her own mug of tea, she still had her wool coat on hiding herself in its folds, “I’m not ready to talk about it Non.  You know what happened, now I’m all alone.”

“You’re not alone dear you have family.  ’ll be here for you whenever you need me.”

“Thank you but I’d really like to go to bed, I don’t like space travel and it’s been a long and trying day, week, month.”

“Of course, finish your tea and I’ll show you to your room.”

The chamomile tea was calming and Katherine finished it in silence before continuing with Nondi deeper into the underground residence.  Pictures of all the Gallery Steiners from the first Katherine adorned the walls.  She paused at the portrait of Alistair Steiner, son of the original Katherine and broke down in tears.  Her own son was to be called Alistair, Galen would have approved of the name if he knew but now they were both gone, killed before they could even be united if only in thought and it was all her fault. 

Nondi gave her some time before escorting her to the rooms where the original Katherine and her grandmother Katrina stayed while they resided on the planet. “I’m sorry dear but this is where we part for now.  All of the luggage has been unpacked into the closets, I take breakfast around eight.  Whenever you want to talk call me and I’ll be there; I rarely get visitors and all my boys are gone.”

She hugged her grandniece and gave her a kiss on the forehead rubbing her back to calm the still traumatized girl shaking like a leaf before her.

Katherine changed and went to bed in tears not even willing to look around at the various artifacts present in the room.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 27 May 2018, 13:29:10
So not like classic Katherine Steiner-Davion.  She was schemer, merciless egotistic.  Hanse Davion as lady, with no morals.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 27 May 2018, 16:01:00
So not like classic Katherine Steiner-Davion.  She was schemer, merciless egotistic.  Hanse Davion as lady, with no morals.

She certainly likes to compare herself to her father (I mean who wouldn't really) actually the plans for her and Vlad to get married on Terra (after "liberating" it from the WOB with the Clans) are because if Dad can do it so can I.  As for the no morals, that's rather crass, she probably has limits, she just hasn't reached them yet, people keep trying to kill her (and harm her sister) after all it would be wrong for her to not defend herself.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 28 May 2018, 11:25:50
INN News Report

Ryan Steiner was killed today on Solaris VII while visiting the ongoing reconstruction efforts, allegedly by the same assassin that killed Melissa last year.  His aide and the sole witness of the event Sven Newmark has disappeared and is wanted by MIIO and the LIC for questioning.

The Free Skye Movement continues to lose ground after their disastrous defeat on Glengarry at the hands of the Grey Death Legion.  The Fourth and Tenth Skye Rangers have been disbanded for participating in the invasion and their commanders have been imprisoned.  Low grade violence continues unabated as security forces from the Federated Suns attempt to quell the uprising.

05/21/3056 10:00 Location – Cartier Residence, Clovis' Point, Lyons, FedCom

Duke George Cartier and Governor Paul Cartier sat across the exotic wooden table from one another, “He's too close and things are coming apart without Gemini, they killed Aries and Libra last week, Cancer and Capricorn are trying to get out but I think it might be too late for them.  All our black accounts are getting drained by Scorpio and only Gemini knew who that is.”

“I know that!  We need something new, Lady Kurita is in system right now on a diplomatic cruise to New Kyoto then beyond.  We can do something about that, you know that would hit the boy prince right in his heart.”

“Yeah and start a massive war that will end up with us just as dead, no we need Peter to do something.  Something big and bad and we need to get it on tape.  That's our way out, might be the only way.”

Paul stroked his beard, “I have an idea, get Captain Pohl.”

05/21/3056 07:42

Derek and Adrian pulled up to Linette's apartment building ready to head to the office for today's work, the past couple of months had been among the busiest in their lives.  She was right there on time as she normally was and hoped into the car.  Adrian leaned over the center of the car, “Good Morning Lin, here's your coffee”

She thanked him and settled back to working on her noteputer putting together the latest expose on The Six, they were acting strangely and she wanted to know why.  Did they have something to do with Ryan Steiner's conspiracy?  She wasn't sure yet but she would get to the truth eventually and rid Lyons of them forever, hopefully her folks would be released from jail as well.

A pair of motorcyclists clad in black with full face helmets rode very close to Derek's car speeding past him before taking the ramp off the highway, “Bunch of show-offs”

Five minutes later the car was engulfed in a fireball, the twisted flaming wreckage tumbled off the overpass and into the street below atop another group of cars in the street.  Fourteen people died and Free Skye claimed the attack, calling it the first strike in a new series of actions against “The Overseers.”

05/22/3056 20:11

Kommandant Peter Steiner-Davion was approaching the remote village of Bellerive, the place where Free Skye was supposedly based, according to the intelligence that Cartier's people provided.  His Thunderbolt 5SS was alone, he had just told the rest of his lance that he was turning in early.  Lin was dead, they understood and left him to his grief except it was rage that motivated him now, a rage so hot that he felt it might consume the whole of this planet.

The sleepy village was nestled in a small river valley far away from most other settlements, tightly grouped wooden buildings surrounded a central square.  It was a primitive place controlled by a small cult that claimed Victor was the “Anti-Christ,” they had no outside communication beyond the weekly truck delivery to their community store.  The Militia wasn't allowed in due to their religious exemptions but that wasn't going to stop the lone Battlemech currently perched atop a hill nearby.

The Thunderbolt's SRM6 was loaded with flechettes that tore into flesh, the flamer fired gouts of super-heated plasma that burned everything to ash, the PPC's lighting crack struck like a vengeful god.  There was no escape from the village, five hundred souls strong, all were snuffed out by the demon in the cockpit.  The Battlemech walked out of the conflagration blackened, coated with the ash of innocents.

Peter walked his mech upstream, his rage satiated and the Thunderbolt took a knee in spongy soil near the river.  He climbed down and hurled into the stream. 

The ash from the still burning village fell down forming a coating on the water and covering him, he tried to wash it away but it just spread more.  He looked at the crimson blaze just downstream could see the smoke rising and fire spreading, “My god, what have I done?”

He pulled out his sidearm, “I can't take it back now, I can't go back to base, or Victor.  They'll know I killed them all,” he put the matte black semi-auto to his temple, “whats one more.”  His finger was on the trigger for several moments before he threw the gun into the river. “******, I can murder five hundred people but can't take my own worthless life.  If only I could disappear, maybe, maybe...”


Paul Cartier sat alone in his office looking at the download from this remote camera, Peter's Thunderbolt murdering a whole village worth of innocent people just like he planned after Pohl killed his girlfriend, that reporter was damned as soon as she started to ask questions.  He toasted ghosts, “Peter you magnificent bastard, you just made sure I can get out of here before...”

The door to his office opened and a trio of sneak suited commandos face's covered by a non-reflective view plate entered the office, their leader walked forward holding the pistol with practiced ease.

Loki, Paul thought 'shit he wasn't fast enough they probably already got his brother.'

“Scorpio sends her regards,” Three muffled pistol rounds, two in the chest, one in the head. 

“You two, secure his data we'll take it to Niflheim with us.  The Norns will love this little treasure trove. After all traitor's assets are forfeit to the state.”

11/14/3067 Location – Verdant Manor, Minette, FedCom

Yvonne was looking at her brother is a mixture of disgust and pity, “How did you get off Lyons and go under the radar Peter?”

“Omiko Kurita was already heading in the direction of Zaniah, I begged her to take me there and tell Victor and Victor only that I was alive just not where.  LIC must have done some behind the scenes work to fabricate the BattleROMs to ensure I didn't get charged for War Crimes and given that copy to him as well. 

I hate it, it is not right that I get to walk free and I've been trying to do my penance for the past ten years.  The universe is full of second chances Yvonne, as soon as I met Daphne I was struck by how much she looked like Linette.  I don't want you to tell her that though or anything else we discussed. 

You asked and I told you why Nikolai didn't want you to kill him.  You would never be able to live with yourself if you pulled that trigger. Would have torn yourself up even more than you have already because it would have been your fault not his choice.”

Daphne and Victoria returned from their walk and shouted trying to find them, “Peter, where are you.”
“I'm still in the dining room Daphne”

Both of them happily walked back in, “Just catching up with my sister.”
Victoria gave her father a hug, her auburn hair was filled with twigs and dried grass apparently she ran through the forest, “I saw a rabbit it was pretty, I tried to catch it but it was too fast”
“Vicky I'm sure we can find you a rabbit that you won't have to chase unless you want to.”
He nodded, Daphne looked at him, “You were sitting here for a half hour and still didn't clear the table.  Come on, what kind of guest are you in your sister's house?”
“We were talking, I'll clear the table and put the dishes in the washer, breakfast was delicious as always Dear.”

Peter did as he said and Daphne watched as Yvonne was playing string games with Victoria, “He's such a good man, I'm so blessed we met.”
“He is sister. I'm sure he feels the same way.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 29 May 2018, 05:41:01
Nice, tying up all the loose ends...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 29 May 2018, 21:06:34
Nice, tying up all the loose ends...

Can't do an entire story in flashback, I mean I guess you could but at that point, its not a flashback anymore.  You just glimpse the Future

Begin Story

11/25/3067 06:00 Location – Government House, Minette, FedCom

The Fourth Whitting Conference Video had just been downloaded by the Minette HPG.  Two days had passed since it occurred which was a record fast time to travel the whole of the Galaxy along “Tin Can Alley,” DRUM relays used to broadcast from New Avalon to Minette and the other Edgeward Outback Worlds from the Coreward Ones without having to go around the vast border worlds of the Federated Commonwealth.  The vid-disk was tagged 'extremely critical to show the Grand Duchess first' by Precentor New Avalon.

Precentor Minette Jelica Vidya arrived at the Government House with a group of Adepts all of whom were seated outside in the lobby under the watchful eye of Marshals since they arrived before regular hours.  When Yvonne walked out of the elevator to her living quarters she was surprised to see so many people here, before breakfast or the sunrise, which made her stomach ache.  She walked up to the white clad COMSTAR Precentor, “Please tell me it’s not something terrible Jelica.”

“Well Yvonne, it didn’t come with a seal from the Estates General and Privy Council making you Regent again but it did say urgent.  I haven’t even looked at the files yet.”

Yvonne relaxed a little and told the staff to just send her breakfast for the conference room.  “Fine let’s take it to the conference room and see what my sister is up to on Tharkad.”

The COMSTAR White and Marshal Khaki was only interrupted by a splash of green from Yvonne’s combat jacket as the conference room was always freezing.  One of the Adepts inserted the disk and played the raw feed sent from Tharkad two days ago.  Tharkad time and the Terran date were displayed underneath as the holographic projector warmed up.

Video/Callback to end of White Wolf of Ragnarok_

Katherine takes the stage, her outfit immaculate, blue and gold dress with a white and red gold ruby and sapphire coronet spiraling into her braided hair, platinum and diamond necklace, her watch, wolf styled bracelet, and signet ring were joined with another ring on her opposite hand. 

“Hello everyone, I hope you have enjoyed the conference thus far.  The Federated Commonwealth is an open and prosperous nation and we strive to be welcoming to the Inner Sphere and Periphery alike.  You are no doubt wondering who I am to sponsor this evening.  It is my great pleasure to invite my husband Vladimir Ward, Khan of the Wolf Empire, to these proceedings.”

Everyone was shocked into silence as Vladimir Ward followed by a Star of Elemental Battle Armor from his Golden Keshik arrived through the grand doors.  He walked up to the stage wearing a gray military uniform with a big red star across the back, his brown hair close cropped, face and scar visible, walking confidently despite his many potential enemies, it was just another day for him. 

The Elementals stood below the stage and locked ranks carefully watching the crowd of freeborn before them.  Three small children walked in from backstage, two boys and a girl and joined the Archon-Princess and Khan.  “I sponsor the Wolf Empire for entry into the Second Star League, Khan Ward has graciously offered to join in our efforts to bring back the glory of the Star League.”

Still First Lord Christian Mannsson stepped up, “You cannot seriously expect us to welcome the enemy into our midst.”

“Why not First Lord?  Coordinator Kurita has no problem using the Nova Cats as human shields against the Ghost Bears...yet he doesn't give them anything in return, not even a vote.  Surely you feel that is more unjust than partnership.”

Former First Lord Theodore Kurita rose up, “Lies!  The Nova Cats volunteered, they are duty bound to protect us from their menacing kin.  Our nations suffered greatly at the hands of the Clans, this entire endeavor is dedicated to their eradication.”

“Is that so, here I thought it was to promote unity in the Inner Sphere and put an end to the Succession Wars, how foolish of me.  This eradication you speak of, did not the Rasalhague people elect a Ghost Bear as their Prince?  Surely you wouldn't let the Combine or the SLDF kill him.”

“We are still trying to get him back and liberate our people from their occupiers...”

“Oh do you want Rasalhague back so dearly?  Darling it is a bit of a problem, what with those Ghost Bears always trying to get it.  Why not let them try.”

Khan Ward was un-phased no one here could threaten him and he knew it, “It is, but it has been good training for our Warriors...and I do so love to spite the Bears.  You can of course trial for it, Regent Prince-General.  Perhaps your people do not wish to return because they find Wolves and Ghost Bears more hospitable.”

“You are all monsters to me Wolf Khan and I will never accept you into the Star League.”

“Harsh words First Lord, I might be offended but I have more important things to do.  I feel as if I am unwelcome on your world Katherine.”

“They will get over it.  I do not appreciate the vitriol expressed on this wonderful day.  Think of the children”

Precentor William Blane of the Word of Blake stood up and was eyed by the Elementals that stood guard over the stage, “The Word of Blake will never accept the Wolves or any Clan into the Star League.”
Theodore and Hohiro Kurita stood as well, “Nor will the Draconis Combine”
Captain-General Thomas Marik, “Neither will the Free Worlds League.”
Katherine looked disappointed but not surprised, “As I feared they will not let you join Vladimir, I suppose then if you will not accept the Federated Commonwealth's decision and so rudely spurn my husband on my world.  I declare that we are withdrawing from this mockery of an institution effective immediately. 

I have long tried to deal with you fairly, but receiving nothing but insult to my character and that of the Commonwealth.  This 'Star League' is nothing but a mechanism to stifle the bright future that awaits us.”

_End Video

Yvonne and everyone in the room was shocked by the video, eight thoughts immediately popped into her head
Since When?
Why wasn’t I invited to the Wedding?
My brother-in-law is a Wolf Khan.
I have secret Nephews too?
Where and when did they meet?
They make a cute couple.

This is going to be a problem.

Everyone was looking at her for answers but all she was doing was looking at her fresh cup of coffee.  She looked at one of the pages that worked for her, “James, I’m going to need some whiskey for this coffee.”

The young man looked confused, “It’s not even six thirty a.m. Grand Duchess, are you sure?”

“I’m sure."
sigh, "You know where it’s at.”  The man disappeared and shortly returned with a flask bearing her Ducal Seal handing it over.  Yvonne then poured a generous double shot into her coffee cup.

“Precentor, I’m not sure where to go with this but would you join me for a drink?  I think we need to discuss some things.”

11/30/3067 17:58 Location – Trip, Magistracy of Canopus

Adonis Valentine (Arthur Steiner-Davion) and Erdê Centrella were both deployed as part of the Magistracy Development Corps mission to Trip/Adhara.  The planet had been exposed to a virulent biological agent during the Taurian-Magistracy War in the 29th Century and abandoned but had recovered naturally. 

As part of the Niops Association deal with Magestrix Centrella they would settle here by 3072.  As such survey crews were busy searching for potential hazards, settlement locations, and areas to exploit.  Erdê was managing a team of Biowarfare specialists from the MMC remotely from a Magellan Survey Vehicle monitoring them for exposure to the Tetski Terror. 

Commander Valentine patrolled the area in his Thug, the rest of the sole company of 3rd Canopian Grenadiers remaining at base or working alongside the Niops teams.

The Word of Blake’s mobile HPG keyed in on the Command Frequency forcing everyone to pay attention.  “Major Centrella this is Adept Ullen, urgent transmission just came through from Canopus.  You’ll have to report to the habitat though my broadcast dish is nonfunctional.”

“We were already coming in for dinner Ullen, just have it ready for us.”

The teams returned to the habitat and followed standard decon procedures changing into clean clothes before being allowed inside.  There was no sign of the Tetski Terror in the biosphere but that didn’t make caution any less warranted, every planet that had life had its fair share of unique diseases.  Some were harmless but others rendered a planet inhospitable like the dreaded Brisbane Virus in the Taurian Concordat.  At least that the MMC had fixed (or rather MIM stole it from the research lab on New Syrtis where it was developed) saving many lives and earning plenty of good will with the notoriously combative Concordat.

Ullen was reciting passages of his repair manual to the broken broadcast dish asking Blake to guide his hands while replacing the damaged components.  The rest of the survey team sat in their cramped briefing room and activated the holodisk. 

The disk played the final meeting of the Whitting Conference, many of the assembled were speechless but headed back to the mess hall to discuss current events.  Arthur and Erdê remained in the briefing room after they departed, “Erdê, I am apparently collecting a lot of interesting potential brothers-in-law slash mortal enemies.  I am so glad I’m on the other side of the universe from both of them and I really hope this doesn’t go as bad as I fear it might.” 
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 30 May 2018, 05:26:41

There slight change in the way universe ended up.  I don't get where the Wolf Empire would come up in?  That was not a thing a Trueborn Clanner would have come up with.

AlphaMirage, are you warming up a new story? Third Transfer, Katherine pt III?
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 30 May 2018, 05:29:32
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 30 May 2018, 06:16:04

There slight change in the way universe ended up.  I don't get where the Wolf Empire would come up in?  That was not a thing a Trueborn Clanner would have come up with.

AlphaMirage, are you warming up a new story? Third Transfer, Katherine pt III?

That was actually a direct re-post of my previous story.  The Wolves changed it from Occupation Zone to Empire after moving out of the homeworlds much like the Ghost Bear OZ became their Dominion after they left.

This story is actually a sequel to ( Wrangler, it makes more sense there.

As for a part III no the end of the Third Transfer is where I am going to stop for this story at least.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 02 June 2018, 00:52:19
01/18/3068 08:00 Location – Mariah’s Pinnacle, Barcelona, Jade Falcon OZ

The Conquistador dropship FCDS Somerset Striker landed on the broken plains of Mariah's Pinnacle, a rugged steppe region and the site of many battles fought during the Amaris Crisis and Operation Revival.  It was located in the shadow of one of the Usurper's broken fortresses destroyed by some Terran Hegemony Warship ages ago but never reclaimed by nature.  The blackened remains may have hardly changed in centuries but the two men facing one another had in the past two decades. 

Lyran General of the Armies/Margrave Adam Steiner disembarked from the drop-ship inside his Blue-Grey Dire Wolf, ONI Obersh Rachel Specter seated behind and slightly above him manning the command console in the second armored cockpit.  Sigma Galaxy Commander Timur Malthus was in his Dark Green Jupiter, a binary of the unproven but well tested Battlemechs had been rushed from Erewhon after Khan Pryde saw the Fourth Whitting Conference video of Katherine and Vladimir.  The massive Mech easily visible in contrast to the blackened ruin.  The assault Mechs cracked the sun baked clay with each step, quickly followed by the rest of their forces.

The 1st Somerset Strikers as a Grenadier Pattern Unit unloaded four battalions of Armor from their Triumph and Hercules drop-ships as well as the nearly five battalions of Battlemechs and two of Battle Armor from Union and Overlord-Xes.  Their two wings of Aerospace Fighters under the command of Hauptmann Katiara Kylie waited in low orbit along with the Zodiac Warship Leo, the FCS Yggdrasil having been diverted due to the appearance of the CJF Emerald Talon above Roadside.  Malthus had bid away his own Aerospace Trinary and granted Safcon to the Strikers.  Sigma Galaxy and the 217th Falcon PGC were standing in a staggered line while the Strikers were formed into a Delta wedge.

Both sides were par with Clan tech Mechs and Vehicles, the Sigma Galaxy suffering heavily at the hands of the Steel Vipers two years ago forcing them to use Freeborn Battlemech pilots and clan-teched versions of Lyran Mech and Tank designs to augment their ranks of proper Clan equipment.  The fact that the lesser vehicles were permanently assigned to his unit galled Timur but he was in no position to argue with Khan Marthe Pryde.  After their exile from the Homeworlds they needed every weapon they could get to hold back Lyran, Horse, and Wolf aggression.

“General Steiner, we have been expecting you.  It has been what sixteen years since you or I have last fought on this world.  I have been robbed of Glory to many times in my life.  It shall not happen again.  This time you will be defeated and I will haul you before Khan Pryde herself to redeem my Bloodhouse.  The only way you are going to make it to Somerset is with a bondcord, Freeborn.”

“You know I would refuse the bond Malthus, I might use it to strangle you if given half a chance.  You will have to kill me to stop me from going home and sending you all to Hell in the process.  The Jade Falcons are finished, they just haven't stopped preening themselves yet.  We have a batchall, let's get on with it.”

The Galaxy Commander looked at the status updates from his hidden Huitzilopochtli ("Huey") artillery vehicles, "Nothing would please me greater General."
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 02 June 2018, 07:25:39
Fight's on!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 02 June 2018, 09:04:10
What a Jade Turkey who is fighting smart...  Against an Inner Sphere warrior already beat them???
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 02 June 2018, 23:17:04
Galaxy Commander Timur Malthus' Jupiter stepped back but the hands of his mech moved forward, one of them caught the Lyran Nightsky's hatchet in his massive fist holding back even the increased strength from the unit's TSM that might have cut through his depleted torso armor.  An Uziel and two of the Stooping Hawk clones, Changeling Omnimechs as they called them, were burned out cored by the one hundred tonner's heavy firepower but his ammo and armor was running low or absent.  The Headhunter Lance had ambushed him on the way back to the refit area under cover of ECM and those roaches of Savannah Masters that were tougher than an Ironhold Beetle to kill.

The Jupiter's fist tightened bending armor plates on his opponent's arm. The Assault's foot came down with force snapping the titanium bones of the Lyran assassin mech at the knees.  It was un-clanlike of course but Timur did feel a certain satisfaction as the enemy mech fell to the ground after he released it before ending the threat with a stream of high energy particles from his remaining ERPPC.  The rest of his Command Star was already ahead as they piloted smaller and speedier mechs than his lumbering Jupiter.

Making it back to the designated spot where technicians were hard at work already replacing armor and ammunition for the Warriors.  Timur grabbed his Bright Green Neurohelmet detaching it from the cockpit's data-port and stepped out onto a mobile elevated walkway taking the stairs down to the Nova that awaited him.  Malthus secured himself and powered the fast and deadly mech up, ready to fight again.  The squat wide postured Omnimech having found a second life as a second line Jade Falcon Battlemech in it's primary configuration as the Falcons lost many factories in their flight from the Homeworlds chased away by the Steel Vipers and their Star Adder allies. 

Two of his lasers had been swapped out for TAGs, his Second-Line Galaxy wasn't going to be able to hold their position on this world long enough to stop the Strikers.  Still he endeavored to make it very costly for them in order to slow them down and force them to resupply and repair before continuing to Erewhon and potentially seize the factory there.  Already Falcon jumpships were en route to ferry Sigma back, they just needed to keep them here for a week. The CJF Emerald Talon's Task Force having pulled the FCS Yggdrasil battlecruiser's task force away on a wild goose chase.  Still the lesser Warship in polar orbit would make things difficult, timing would have to be perfect.

Marthe Pryde needed time to deal with the Wolf Whelp Khan Ward whose Galaxies were now biting deep into their border worlds aided by forces under the command of the Hell Horse's SaKhan James Cobb.  She should have killed Vlad years ago after the Refusal War, now his treachery and unchecked ambition endangered the Falcon's very survival and with it the True Way of the Clans.  "Marrying" a Freeborn Princess, disgusting, the man had no shame and was unworthy of his Trueborn genes.  Both Falcon Khans and Loremaster Pershaw were currently fighting off a steady and well coordinated invasion of the Jade Falcons territory on five different fronts across sixteen worlds. 

He keyed in the encrypted channel to the Artillery units scattered in the Falcon's back lines, 20 Arrow IVs were waiting for his order to power up, “Get ready for my signal.”

On the other side General Adam Steiner's Dire Wolf limped to the rear lines, it's armor was heavily damaged and a couple of lucky shots had damaged the actuators in his left leg.  More importantly the Gauss Rifles had run out of ammo taking away a lot of his firepower, The mobile field refit station was just ahead along with a pair of Powerman LoaderMechs and a Squire Repairmech.  The Dire Wolf backed into the repair zone and Adam opened up his cockpit.  His secondary Zeus X didn't have a second cockpit for Rachel to ride along but the Command Console was still operational in the current mech and she had plenty to do coordinating the vast front.

“Rachel make sure the rest of the force continues on course.  I'll have to leave you here while I head back into the fight.”

“Adam I don't know about this, they were too well-prepared for us.  I'm afraid the Falcons are up to something sneaky.”

“When has a Malthus ever been able to rub enough brain cells together to do something underhanded?  I issued the batchall Timur accepted it.  We confirmed all the forces he claimed.”

“Just be careful, he has it out for you in particular.  He could lose everything but if he gets you he still wins.  Do it for me please.”
  Adam couldn't see her face but knew she was worried to death for his safety.  She always was, and he loved her for it but right now he didn't need the distraction.  Rachel saw Adam wave to her through the transparent FerroGlaz of the cockpit, “I'll be fine, see you in an hour or so.”

Outside Adam saw the armored cowling of the cockpit close, he walked across the gantry past a Tech, killing the mic that hung just under his chin, “Take good care of her Sergeant”

“The Mech or The Woman.”

  Adam looked back at the armored cockpit where Rachel likely remained afraid for his safety instead of her own, “I'll need both if I'm going to win this fight and all the ones after.”

“Yes General!”

“So I heard there were so problems with the Heavy Laser's cooling on this run.”

“We managed to fix them sir, testing confirms everything works according to specifications now.  You should see the cooling system it's a thing of beauty.”

“I'd prefer to not see the inside of my Mechs Sergeant, I'll try not to make a mess of it.”

The pair walked toward the Zeus X, the Lyran version of the Wolf's Gargoyle/Man o War Omnimech redesigned to be built in Lyran Space just like his Dire Wolf.  It was faster, just as tough, and hit twice as hard as the normal model.  Adam didn't know which planet it was built on, another of Katherine's many secrets, just like her Wolf Khan husband, likely vat-born children, the fact that she was a Clan Loremaster, and certainly more things he preferred to not dwell on. 

It couldn't be helped at the moment, the Jade Falcons were an existential threat to the Lyran Commonwealth worlds just like the Hellions might prove to be in the Federated Suns.  Those two combined with their regular enemies meant Katherine had to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to her and Adam understood, but that didn't mean he liked it.  He certainly wasn't going to be sending Christmas cards to Tharkad after he reclaimed the soon to be Somerset March.  The Archon-Princess was causing him to go gray with stress and he wasn't even in his mid-40s yet.

The grey-blue Zeus X was a thing of beauty, exact same engine as the Gargoyle, Clan Ferro Armor, IS Endo Steel bones, the weapons looked exactly the same but were Clan Tech as well.  The six fins in the back were used to radiate waste heat but folded into the mech's back when in battle.  Mostly he thought the engineers at Defiance got a little to creative but it worked well in his test runs and limited raids earlier in the year.  The speed and firepower of the unit were terrifying for someone used to the less agile Zeus 9Ses (which is why this chassis is called X), the only thing it didn't do was jump, which was just fine for him, that was for the Falconers that made up nearly a quarter of his Strikers.

Sergeant Michaels held onto Adam's Orange Neurohelmet as he ascended the recessed ladder built into the Zeus' side.  Passing it along to the man after he was at the top he snapped one last salute, “Fry some wings General.”

Adam cradled the Neurohelmet in the crook of his elbow returning the salute, “I will Sergeant, I'm the Hero of Barcelona after all.”

He attached the datacord into it's port and put his Neurohelmet on, sitting down before closing and sealing the cockpit around him.  The armored cowling sliding into position over the transparent Ferroglaz before the display screens built into his cockpit glass booted up.  He always dreaded that moment of darkness while the reactor reached start up power, “Time for some Heroics.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 03 June 2018, 00:28:57
Now that's an ominous line to end the section.

Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 03 June 2018, 17:54:21
D+03:17, Battle of Barcelona

The Zeus X's missile arm's fist smashed through a Cougar's armored cowling, the impact broke the ruined concrete where its PPC arm held the smaller mech in place.  The combatant crumbled clearly KOed but not likely dead.  Adam tagged it for retrieval by friendly infantry as soon as he got clear of the Comm dead zone.  An artillery shell impacted above their canyon like fortress ruins barely scratching the ancient LosTech Ferrocrete.  Clumps of clay and gravel, fell their tinkling sounds audible through his armored canopy. 

The Strikers had pushed Sigma back into the ruins of Mariah's Pinnacle, one of the “hedgehog” forts that the former Rim Worlds Republic used to stymie the SLDF. Built nearly as sturdily as the Star Leagues Castle Brians it had withstood many battles, though each left a tangible mark on the walls that might last millenia more before nature reclaimed them.  The fact that the Falcons intended to batter his Strikers against it as well had to be cruel irony to their descendants. 

The assault mech was heavily battle scarred but still had ammo and plenty of fight left in it.  Adam's command lance pressed forward keeping a wary eye for Falcons it consisted of a fellow Zeus X, Falconer, and Barghest .  His lance had pressed further into enemy territory than any other and Adam couldn't shake the feeling that he was being pulled in by Timur.  “Regroup on my position Gauntlet”

They provided their reports and headed toward his position from their respective fights.  “Gauntlet we're pulling back a bit I need an LOS connection to Control.”

Meanwhile within the Dire Wolf back at the Refit Yard, Rachel nervously watched the status reports from the various sub-commands of the Strikers.  Adam was not responding to her comms although she knew roughly where he was she couldn't find his mech on any spectra it having gone deeper into the Fortress and the many Falcon Lokis on the field plus the Pinnacle's massive grounding effect were creating an electronic fog that was screwing with the Striker's sensor and telemetry feeds, even the Zodiac Warship FCS Leo orbiting overhead was having difficulty tracking the targets over the vast battlefield.  It was like they were pulling the Strikers into many different directions at the same time, away from Adam and their supporting units.  She had tasked a Lightning Company to rush there and reestablish connection but hadn't heard back from them yet so she prayed they made it in time.

Twenty thermal blooms marked the start up of a Binary of heavy vehicles, vehicles that were not part of the bid.  Zooming in from one of the Recon Satellites she saw a Star of Huey Artillery Vehicles turning their turrets toward Adam's location guarded by a Star consisting of Hachiman, Oro, and Mars Tanks.  “No!  Control to Banshee Leader!”

Hauptmann Katiara Kylie and her 2nd Somerset Aerospace Wing were still cockpit down watching Barcelona from the Thermosphere.  She was thinking about what a waste it was that she just had her nails done but no one could see them under her vacuum suit not that she had a co-pilot anyway.  Her Jagatai D was one of the most advanced fighters in the Strikers and her wing had a full squad of them for dog-fighting purposes as well as a squad for Ground Attack, Recon, and Heavy Strike.  A panicked call from Rachel broke her daydreaming putting her back into the zen mode she needed to pilot this tin rocket through space, “Control to Banshee Leader!”

“Banshee Leader here, proceed.”

“Dive fast and hard on these vehicles. Immediately! With everyone!”

The coordinates came in and her Omnifighter calculated the proper reentry instructions and her engine went to full power, the cockpit's armor shield slid into place brought down by her Neurohelmet.  “Banshee Leader confirms.  All Callsigns we're in this fight now.  Hot Entry; All Weapons Free; Burn in Thirty seconds toward these coordinates”

All forty eight Aerospace fighters winged over and dove steep plunging like darts through Barcelona's atmosphere

Back at the Fortress Adam and his Lance worked their way back to the surface, the Castle Brian was still interfering with his comms.  He caught part of a message from Rachel but there was to much static and his signal scrubbers couldn't clear it up.  A point to point channel opened up and his sensors picked up a Star of Falcon mechs closing quick on his Lance, a Grand Summoner, 2 Conjurers, Nova, and Lupus.



The rest of Gauntlet lance formed up facing the Falcon's both Zeus X's shedding their waste head via the back fin radiators during the brief pause.  The Barghest and Falconer's guns were leveled against the hostile mechs both ready to fire as soon as they were given the order.  Both commands showed recent signs of battle Adam's lance having thrashed a Falcon Binary in these man-made canyons while the Falcons blasted a Lightning Company with assistance from another Star which had taken the worst of the damage.

“It's over Timur, you can't hold this world.”

“I don't need to hold Adam, all I need to do is buy time that is victory enough for the Clan.  The Falcons will stop your assault in its tracks and reclaim anything within a fortnight.  Your Archon-Princess has to many other foes to fight, the Falcons will survive as we always have.  Clawing for everything is what gives us purpose but our eyes always remain toward Terra.  Perhaps we'll take a trip to Tharkad along the way.” 

Timur Malthus saw the status updates from his artillery, Arrows would be on the way soon and they would plunge right into the heart of his enemy.  His Nova stepped around the crater made by the ranging shot earlier.  Seems the fortress had been compromised in this area but the full damage had been covered over by nature.  Good thing he brought mostly lighter mechs, the Lyran's heavier machines might even punch through the damaged superstructure by accident.  That would make them easier targets.

“Are we going to sit here and talk all day, that doesn't seem very clanlike.  I have other Falcon Warriors to kill, I'd hate to deny them their rightful Glory.”  Adam's Zeus-X pointed his Artemis V enhanced LRM-20 wrapped around a fist toward the Nova and launched a volley.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 04 June 2018, 23:01:35
All twenty missiles from Adam's launcher struck various parts of Timur's Nova, he laughed in his cockpit, “We shall see who has the bigger missiles Adam.”  The rest of his Command Star was already in motion one of the Conjurers got chewed up by the Barghest and Falconer's guns but the other was bounding toward the other Zeus X in Adam's lance.  The Lupus and Grand Summoner responded with their missiles impacting the Barghest following the Summoner's Ultra cannon shells. 

The ancient Lupus, one of the first omnimechs during the Clan's Golden Age centuries ago, looked comical now with it's shoulder mounted missile racks but was still packing similar firepower to the Mad Dog, a rightfully feared Omnimech found in all Clan Toumans.  Many older model mechs, Omni and enhanced Star League, had been taken from old Diamond Shark stores the Sharks sold them to everyone, Horses, Wolves, Bears, there were even reports of the Abjured Nova Cats, now a pet to the Draconis Combine, or Exiled Wolves, leashed by the Archon-Princess for a now apparent reason, getting their hands on the advanced Clan Tech they could no longer make themselves.  The Merchant Clan was now growing into a major power throughout the Exodus Road providing support to all the Clans in the Inner Sphere in exchange for vast resources compared to the Home Worlds.

Timur's Nova flew across the broken plains he was trying to draw his foe out from his supporting Mechs.  The Zeus X could easily pace his Nova on the ground, Timur was surprised by that having never encountered the new Battlemech in the field before.  It had been seen in battle but acted like a normal Zeus during that time apparently intentionally to confound the Falcons.  Falcon Watch had dismissed it as a mere cosmetic change by the Archon-Princess who had a reputation for adjusting her appearance frequently. Why should her armies be any different?  However they had underestimated the depth of the Lyran industrial reforms brought about by Clan Tech, it made him hate the Wolf Khan more than he thought possible and he was a Falcon there was no end to their enmity for their perennial rivals.

A static filled radio transmission reached Timur's Nova as he fired his six arm mounted lasers cutting deep and ugly burns into Adam's mech.  The Nova just managed to dodge the PPC but took a major hit to it's leg which now flashed red on the status display indicating the internal structure was now exposed.  The last of it's armor having been cut through from the Zeus' Heavy Laser.  The radiator fins were glowing white hot as the chilling oil attempted to flush the heat from the heavy weapon.  “Galaxy Commander we have hostile Aerospace closing fast, we will hold them off for as long as possible but you had better be in position.”

“I am in position Star Captain, ripple fire now.”

20 Arrow IVs were launched from the Hueys as the 2nd Somerset and 373rd Donegal Guards Aerospace Wings cleared the atmosphere.  Their reentry shields still cherry hot, each of the Wings formed up led by the Ground Attack Squadrons as they were best capable of dealing with the swarm of missiles and cluster shells that were now beginning to erupt from the Anti-Air Vehicles.  Katiara saw one of the wide winged Chippewas get brought down from a concentrated volley of missiles from the Mars and Hachiman tanks. 

Her own Jagatai took several hits from LB-X cluster rounds she could tell because they made a distinctive sound against armor but she maintained control her Aerospace fighter was built for space combat the only thing that kept her in the air now was her thrust.  Zeroing in on one of the odd looking Hachiman tanks whose 40 missile tubes hugged a narrow profile turret, the Falcons even put it hull-down under camouflage netting the bastards. 

She let her 24 HE ATMs and a Gauss slug fly, before the missile impacted the laser pods in her wings flashed white bright on the tank carving deep holes in the tank's turret which the missiles and Gauss slug finished off.  Several Flak vehicles went down, Clan vehicles had such thin armor it was a joke among the Lyran Tank Corps, known for their durability just like their mechs, they now inherited the moniker Wall of Steel since Katherine made so many Clan like Lyran designs standard across the AFFC. Two of the Hueys were also disabled but there was still time for them to fire again before she could vector her wing back even as the 373rd was coming in.  She hoped they bought Adam enough time.

The Lupus had a massive hole in it's torso, part of one of the arms had fallen off the tortured steel that had been sheared by a Heavy Gauss slug and ammo explosion that killed the pilot from Neuro-feedback.  The Barghest was burned out it limped weakly on three legs past the crashed remains of a Conjurer brought down in mid-air by the Falconer that lay in a crater created by the first round of Arrow IV saturation.  The Grand Summoner had been subjected to friendly fire having been to close to the Falconer during the Arrow storm, it's back had blown through the front.  Half a Zeus X weakly limped before falling down, it's tortured Gyro finally giving up with a mechanical whine and impact heard for tens of meters.  The Nova was blasted through having never gotten a chance to use it's TAG lasers before the Zeus' weapons burned out the cockpit and killed the Solahma Dezgra Galaxy Commander Timur Malthus.

A massive breach in the fortress made by the missiles directed toward him had swallowed Adam's Zeus whole.  In the half-light that filtered through the hole the Zeus X was in bad shape having been impaled on a reinforced Ferrocrete pillar that punched clean through the fusion reactor.  It's head shifted lazily on the ground, the armored cowling that protected it remaining mostly intact. 

A Falcon Anhur landed nearby letting two Points of Falcon Elementals out of it's side doors.  Star Commander Ekrin pointed one of his Elemental suit's clawed arms toward the Mechs and one Point went to recover the pilots from those Mechs.  The other point jump jetted down the dozen meter gap that Adam's Zeus X had fallen through. The Mech was easily identifiable even through the battle damage.  “This is the one we are looking for, you two open it up, we will cover you.” 

One Elemental watched their back through his multispectral sensors in case someone attempted to attack them while they were recovering the Lyran General, two had their machine guns trained on the cockpit, and another two clawed back the cockpit armor to see if the pilot was dead or not.  Except there was no pilot inside.

“Damn, where did he disappear to?”  Ekrin turned his head taking in the space around him, it was veritable maze and they didn't have a map but neither did he, “We will find you.  You're just making it harder on yourself when we do.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 06 June 2018, 04:23:23
Hide and Seek, hope they have some active probes
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 06 June 2018, 15:31:15

Adam Steiner crouched in a small utility shaft, probably once home to some drone that swept floors or something like that when this fortress was still operational, more importantly far too small for Elementals.  The hatch the little robot used was well hidden, recessed in a small alcove below the sight line of an Elemental. He heard the heavy footfalls of the Falcons as they passed hunting for him.  He counted ten, two full Points, he was in so much trouble, even if he got back Rachel might kill him but he had to get back first.  These Falcons weren’t messing around they wanted him dead or as a hostage to use against the rest of the Lyran forces.  He shouldn’t have gone back out, he was getting to old for this but here he was.

Looking down at his Mauser III carbine positioned on the floor.  This grey-green rifle was different from the first round of new Mausers made and deployed during the Battle of New Avalon.  It was compact with no stock, nor grenade launcher attachment.  The full bulk was reduced courtesy of the refined optical engineering and material science in just the past few years.  The stock was unnecessary anyhow considering it was a laser, the battery moved from the stock to a pouch on his belt where a tightly curled power cord connected to the grip.

Adam waited until he could no longer hear the heavy boots of the Elementals, it’s not like they were sneaky or attempting to be.  This place, this Rim Fortress, would help hide them from any advanced sensors the battle suits had and they were too large to fit in smaller places but any doors could easily be bypassed with their weapons. 

He took a moment recalling his situation, the Strikers knew roughly where he would be, they would send a team.  He just needed to last long enough for them to reach him.  The giant crater that his mech had fallen through and which had given him a splitting headache was visible from satellite recon.  He tried to remember how fast the 8th Armored or 55th Jump Infantry had executed a Force Retrieval mission but couldn’t his head was still to fuzzy.  Not that his watch would help either having been crushed in the fall along with his left arm and hip both of which were heavily bruised and his comms were dead

The moment of panic past Adam looked up and saw the slot above his little maintenance passage had fresh cable laid through it.
‘Hold on a second, Fresh Cable in an Ancient Fort’

Adam risked turning on his low power red wrist light at the cabling.  It was new, post-REVIVAL certainly, possibly in the past few years. The LIC reported there were no Falcons based in this blasted area so where could it have come from.

He was torn between curiosity and caution.  He chose curiosity there was potential new information nearby, information that might save some of his people’s lives.  Army crawling was horrendously painful and Adam had to frequently stop and rest while trying to be quiet. Sharp pains emanated from his bruised side almost causing him to cry out several times but he would work through it.  The cable ran in tight bunches, professionals not some pirate jerry rig, it made several turns before ending at an elevated grate.

The room on the other side was illuminated in pools by mobile task lights two vehicles, Clan heavy ground transports, were parked nearby.  One of the lights illuminated the distinctive form of a Self-Propelled PPC its skeleton form rising from a small tracked platform with an operator lazily hanging on to it.  The device was obviously drawing power off one of the truck’s auxiliary generators and was currently surrounded by a group of men who were not paying a lot of attention to anything but themselves  Adam was glad that at least it wasn’t pointed his way. ‘Pirates’ he couldn’t really tell they didn’t wear anything uniform and he couldn’t recognize their accent but it was obvious they were just muscle. 

Another group of maybe a dozen people was standing around something different, almost 3 meters tall with great cannons mounted on its shoulders.  Something that looked like a bull’s head was being attached to the bulky chassis held by an overhead winch built into the ceiling.

‘A Protomech,’ no Protomechs had been deployed in the Inner Sphere yet except the ones that the Hellions attacked the Pirate worlds with but these people weren’t Hellions.  They wore dark green coveralls with a Jade Falcon insignia on them but when Adam looked through the rifle scope he saw that the Falcon was wearing a blinding hood.  He tried hard to remember if that insignia had ever passed his desk, some Pirate or Partisan group supported by the LIC to harass Falcons but he couldn’t think of one.  Certainly they wouldn’t have access to Protomechs unless Katherine or Director Savinson were really holding out on him.

He wished this rifle had a memory chip so he could snap some pictures, this was clearly something new and dangerous.  Rachel and his other MI people would want evidence not that they wouldn’t believe him but it would be tough to convince others and determine the true nature of the threat with his limited knowledge.  Four others walked out of one of the transports, two men and two women, to a man monitoring a computer terminal.  Adam was not good at reading lips but he could see they knew each other and these four were different than the others.

Scientist First Grade Nico (Brahe) exited the transport he had been resting in having driven the truck all the previous night from their shuttle drop point.  He wanted to see the final assembly and power up of the first Minotaur his cell had received, there were parts for four more in the transports just arrived from Erewhon with the Jupiters that now fought against the Strikers.  They had been marked “Scientific Instrumentation, Fragile” Warriors and Merchants didn’t care to look and wouldn’t have seen anything unusual in those crates anyway they couldn’t understand what he did. 

He called over one of the Dark Caste grunts responsible for site security, “There’s been a breach in this sector.  Our sensors are picking up motion nearby, Ten Elementals, they might find us.”  He pointed toward the PPC, “Get your people on that gun in case they do!  At least until we power this beast up.”
The man did as ordered the PPC was armed and ready for action while the rest of the platoon waited behind the waist high cover wall with their laser rifles and grenade launchers.  Nico continued on to the Chief Tech, “Max how much longer?”

“Two minutes sir, we’re almost finished connecting the final feeds.”

“Good, I will prep the pilot then.”

Adam watched as a small woman was led out of the transport by one of the other newcomers, she wore a tight fitting bodysuit and was bald.  He could see her EI tattoos in his scope, metallic green streaks running along visible skin.  She looked eager, overeager perhaps at the Protomech and attempted to get closer while the Techs were still working on it but was held back.  She looked at the man that held her upset at his barring her way, he grabbed something from his lab coat, A Scientist Adam figured, and jabbed it into her neck.  One of the Techs working on the Proto gave the thumbs up and pulled the winch away before returning to that console.

The woman was led to a pod like thing that emerged from the Proto’s chest it looked like a cryopod to Adam but then she got in.  The scientists hooked some things up to her and pressed a button that drew the pod back into the mech.  Moments later the Proto started up and all the Techs and Scientists got out of the way while the thing moved toward the door. 

The Elementals showed up then demanding to know what was going on, Adam could hear their speakers clearly from his position.  Then the rogue faction fired on them the Elementals fired back and a short brutal battle ended with the deaths of many infantry and the Elementals but the Proto was in excellent shape.  Adam was wide-eyed at the carnage before him but couldn't pull back, he saw everything, things he had never seen on a battlefield before, things he would never forget.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 07 June 2018, 07:52:52
Nice, and that's when things got complicated...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 07 June 2018, 10:38:17

Sergeant Rulmen of 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 55th Donegal Jump Infantry looked down again at the giant hole illuminated in the midday sun.  “I feel really bad for the salvage guys on this one.”  His team left their jump packs in the Karnov 15 meters distant, currently under the watchful eyes of their 2nd Platoon.  The other broken mechs here were clear, no living pilots, no dead ones either.  An Anhur had departed shortly before they arrived and he really hoped that VTOL didn’t have General Steiner inside, Colonel Specter scared him more than the Falcons did. 

The rest of his platoon was setting up the rappel rig, their packs were for short hops over broken terrain they couldn’t scale a 12 meter vertical distance in a single bound.  It was nice to not have the heavy pack on but he never liked trusting a rope either.

Looking back at his lieutenant he got the thumbs up and clipped himself in with the other six troopers in his squad.  Securing his weapon and putting his hands on the rappel rig he backed up to the gap, “Remember drop down, land soft, unclip, spread then over-watch.  3, 2, 1”

Three lines had been strung down and the squad dropped hard at first friction breaking with their legs and the harness each of them wore.  They dropped down, landing was solid, un-clipped and had their rifles out while the rest of the platoon followed.  With everyone down his squad checked the mech, it was a gruesome sight Adam could have easily broken his back during that fall which is why a litter was being dropped down behind.  The PFC he assigned to the cockpit looked his way, “Sarge, claw marks”

He looked closer at the armor that covered the FerroGlaz those were claw marks all right, “Elementals, El Tee we’re going to need the heavy weapons.”

LT Volgrin called it in and a crate was lowered down carrying LAWs every trooper grabbed a missile tube and squads began to fan out keeping visual contact with at least one other squad as comms were poor here.  Their white rifle lights picking up motes of dust in the creepy, cramped corridors of the fortress even the noise of their boots seemed to be absorbed into the inky blackness.  Lights looked up, down, left, and right regularly rotating to watch their rear and ensure the other squad was following.

Rulmen stopped at a recessed alcove, something caught his attention.  The dust here had been disturbed recently and majorly but not by an elemental.  He raised his fist to call a halt, the second squad stopped as well but remained quiet watching and waiting.  “Abrams, get the hatch.  Everyone else stay clear”

PFC Abrams did as ordered opening the heavy metal hatch which was still whisper quiet no creaking clearly maintained which was rather suspicious.  The tunnel behind was empty and small but a man could fit in it, “Friendlies! Fifty-Fifth”

“No go away!  Monsters will get you too.”

Rulmen knew Adam Steiner’s voice, very few people in the Commonwealth wouldn’t actually because he was so popular though he didn’t like it.  He had served under this man for years but it sounded different, clearly he was in pain and something awful had happened to him if he was talking about monsters.  There were no blood so the Elementals hadn’t gotten to him, they certainly wouldn’t have left if they had found him.  This was something different.

Rulmen looked over to his squad, “Ready a stretcher,” addressing his Corporal directly, “Get the Medic here right away.”  The man ran back the way they had come to get the LT and Platoon Medic.

The other Squad moved forward to ensure nothing snuck up on them while they were rescuing the General but they hadn’t heard anything he said.  Rulmen passed his rifle to one of the squaddies and entered the corridor, he’d have to pull Steiner out himself it seemed.

Rulmen crouched and walked his way toward the bend where Steiner was sitting, his head was down due to the height of the tunnel but he looked blanched except on his left side which was covered in bruises.  “General, we have to go.  There are Falcon Elementals nearby.”

He looked over at the Sergeant his eyes were wide in terror, “No, all dead”

Sarge hadn’t been expecting that, “What do you mean all dead?  Who killed them?”

His voice was tinged in fear and panic, no Clanner ever scared Adam like that before and he had fought and killed plenty of them, “All dead. Ripped to pieces by a monster.  I saw it, I saw it all.  Have you ever seen a man ripped in half?


“I saw a Minotaur do it.  It was real.  Looked just like the legends. So much blood.  I didn’t know a body had so much blood.”

‘Minotaurs? I really hope he doesn’t have the Steiner madness too.  We already have enough mad Steiners’

Volgrin had arrived, “Come on Sarge! Let’s go! Grab Steiner and pull his ass out so we can go home.  I don’t like being exposed like this.”

“Come on Adam, you have to get moving.  Rachel wants you back before dark.”

He appeared to come back to his senses ‘Thank God’ he had a hell of contusion on his head, that was going to be painful it might even slow down the invasion while he healed up, “Rachel?”

“Yes Rachel, come on.  We’ll give you a ride back.  Just a little bit further and we can treat those injuries of yours.”

“But the Minotaur?”

“Minotaur’s can’t fly or come out of the Maze.  We can do both you’ll be fine, trust me.”
Rulmen grabbed his shoulder in a reassuring manner and Adam followed.

D+07:48 - FCS Somerset Striker, 1st Somerset Striker Drop Base

Obersh Rachel Specter was watching over Adam now resting quietly after a harrowing ordeal in the field.  Sergeant Patrick Rulmen was beside her continuing his debrief, "Minotaur?"

"That is what he said Colonel.  I don't know if he was delirious in pain and imagining it or if it was indeed real but he looked awful scared in that tunnel.  It could have been shock I'm not a Medic.  I'm sorry i can't help more." 

"You've done quite enough Sergeant.  I can't verify anything and we can't send a team looking from the Eighth on monster hunting duty in that old fortress.  I'd get a Section Eight for sure.  We'll keep this off the official record."
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 07 June 2018, 14:57:50
Jaguars Adrift

04/23/3067 01:28 Aboard Potemkin CSJ Osis’ Pride, in orbit around Hellmouth, Devil’s Breath system, Outworlds Wastes

The massive Potemkin transport Warship Osis’ Pride came into a parking orbit around Hellmouth, an inner planet of the Devil’s Breath system, it had no other recongized name in the charts but it seemed appropriate to the inhabitants.  It was a Venus like planet brutal but stable, their Warship would always been nearby but never close enough that it could be a problem. 

The inside of the ship was a mess, everything was in poor condition, the systems, soldiers, and supplies what few remained were already trash but not even worth throwing out into space.  Star Colonel Olvin Rippon looked out from his command screen at the planet before him. It was a broken ugly place but it was near the now home of the once proud Smoke Jaguars turned space pirates, Devil’s Breath.  Their former base on Antallos had been glassed by a Warship last year leaving him scrambling to rebuild.  The Clan needed to survive and he would ensure it did till his dying breath. 

They were fortunate that the Alliance merchant vessel they had captured during their initial trip had decent star charts of The Wastes, to many dead planets with dark secrets to risk exposure too.  The Pride settled on Devil’s Breath where no one would bother them and the nearby Outworlds Alliance and Waste’s planets were weak, easy prey even for his reduced 304th Battle Cluster now barely three Trinaries.  The Pride would eventually fail and strand his people in space so capturing Alliance and Combine jumpships was his priority and the Pride was merely backup. 

Olvin was still confused as he thought back on the interrogation of his new isorla Merchant captain captured in the raid three weeks ago who thought his was a different group, The Hellions. 

Ice Hellions in the Inner Sphere? Utter nonsense.  They could barely work together on their meager planets in the Homeworlds to think they could even make it here was ridiculous.  Where would they get the charts?  The Home Clans would surely notice them before they could depart at least and destroy them in detail unless they were planning a renewed invasion.  Such a thought was very satisfying, he secretly wished it were true as he took great pleasure in raiding Combine worlds.  Their Warriors were at least a challenge even if he couldn’t fight them like he used to.

Going hand over hand down the corridors of the Pride he couldn’t help but feel some as he passed the Technicians conducting the mothballing taking anything that could be of use to the colony or other jumpships with them from the ancient troop cruiser.  This ship was worn out and the Jaguars couldn’t fix it, not without going back to the Home Worlds or maybe the Bears, and it might not even make that trip.  It had served his clan well, even past their own near annihilation. 

Seven years had passed since Huntress; and Tranquil, his Cluster almost made it to Tranquil at the call of Corbett to rebuild the Jaguars or at least all die like Warriors.  Perhaps they would have changed history but what was done is.  They were too late and instead they invaded Deep Periphery colonies and Exodus Road waystations and jumpships for supplies before coming back to the Inner Sphere picking up and sometimes shedding various detritus along the way arriving at Antallos with fourteen of the Potemkin’s twenty-five collars filled. 

It was never enough but the Jaguars were used to deprivation and raiding for survival so were some of the fiercest Pirates in the Inner Sphere even though they were Dark Caste, dishonored and unworthy of being called a Clan anymore.  Vinton and the Band of the Damned respected them enough to not bother their dome city Enclave.

After nearly 250 meters Olivin arrived at collar 7, on the other side was his Confederate-C Dropship CSJ Raking Pounce, the last still docked to the vessel, the Techs would head homeward aboard the ship’s shuttles when the job was done.  An alert broke his maudlin mood and he switched back to the Star Colonel he was.  His communicator went live from the dropship, “Star Colonel, we are picking up a KF-bloom near the Zenith point.”

The Zenith point was were all of his regular jumpships were, the Jaguars didn’t have an Aerospace fighters remaining and the Warship’s weapons were mothballed first to save power and extend its reactor life instead.  “How long till we know who it is Star Captain?”
“Five minutes maybe ten”
“I will be right there, just in the linkage tunnel now.”

Colonel Rippon took uncontrolled leaps down the relatively spacious corridors of the Confederate, a far cry from the normal Clan dropships which were far narrower to pack more firepower and cargo into them.  This old SLDF transport had been built with some concern for crew comfort and his Techs took great pride in its upkeep an odd trait but one he encouraged rather than beret as he might have once done.

That way took him through the Tech Bay where his Mech, a dark gray-blue painted Mad Dog Prime with thicker IS Ferro armor than it once had and four machine guns instead of the mediums lasers, the Omni stood alongside a Panther-LAG, Original Grand Dragon, a partially repaired Daikyu, and Mist Lynx Prime also with IS Ferro instead of the superior clan material that they had been long depleted.

The Confederate’s command room was lit with red task lighting as multiple displays showed everything the pilots needed to know to operate the ship.  “How big of an emergence wave, Captain?”
“Moderate, maybe a Cruiser.”
“Let’s see what comes out before we make any decisions.”

They waited a few more minutes before an Aegis cruiser slipped in, transponder off.  It took no immediate action at the Jumpships clustered around the Zenith point but that didn’t mean it was friendly.  A wide band microwave broadcast finally traversed the distance to Hellmouth. A chiseled pale man with dirty blonde hair, blue-green eyes, and steady commanding tone was on the video screen, “This is Khan Xander Drake of the Hellions, currently aboard the Aegis cruiser Chaos Sailor.  I demand to speak with your leader.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: snakespinner on 08 June 2018, 01:03:05
One minute ridiculing the thought of the Hellions in the inner sphere.
Next minute facing off against a Hellion Aegis in a Confederate DS.
Poetic justice. >:D
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 08 June 2018, 05:26:14
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 10 June 2018, 22:34:10
01/17/3066 07:58 “Gorgon's Pit”, Gambilon, Magistracy of Canopus

The black and teal K-1 spheroid shuttle descended toward the grey-green badlands of the Gorgon's Pit, a MIM black site on this frontier Canopian planet.  Two brown RR-87 trucks and a RR-19 armored transport worked their way toward the drop zone shortly after giving time for the charred terrain to cool before approaching the bulbous transport.  The three vehicles pulled up the armored transporter backing itself up to the ramp to receive cargo and ten armed soldiers exited the smaller trucks.

Two women stepped down from the ramp, one of the soldiers met her halfway, “Careful men this woman is dangerous.”

“You're such a flatterer Sergeant Palon.  Are you gunning for another round with me?  You'd think you'd learn your lesson after last night unless you really liked it.”

“Felicity, I wasn't talking about you.  Have you declawed your Jaguar?”

She looked at the man for a long moment, stretching her arm slightly, “Have you ever tried to disarm a Clan Warrior Michael?  I just finished rehab for my arm less than a month ago and it still hurts like hell.  I'm not going to try to take Watch Captain Ash's weapons from her.  She's on our side.”

“You say that but she seems to have quite the independent streak about her for a Clan Warrior. Jaguar Watch Assassin, according to your debrief she killed a Saurimat Brother sent by the Azami in a knife fight.

Then she was retained as a Lyran Privateer with a reputation so brutal that she struck fear into the hearts of no less than the Jade Falcons. 

And most recently she's was a Pirate Queen on Astrokaszy, a very messy one.  Whose band of Pirates held a Commonwealth Merc Regiment at bay with less than a battalion. 

The only reason she's here now is because your pet Mercs brought her low at great cost.  You can't expect me to just think she will behave.”

“Have any of your Jaguars tried to kill you yet Michael?”
“They aren't Warriors.” 

“Well let's just ask her then.”
  Gray turned and looked at the woman still clad in her desert scavenger outfit tan and gray with a sleeveless top that showed off a lifetime of scars and recent still colorful tattoos on her dusky skin.  Her head was covered in scarf that blew freely in the wind that swept across the badlands.  “Ash do you intend to kill this man or his people?”

She dropped the scarf and showed off a very scarred face.  “Neg, Major Gray.  Unless they give me cause for grievance,” she drew a Karambit knife from her back sheath spun it on the rear ring before holding onto it's skeleton grip, and panning the blade across the squad, “like pointing a gun at me for instance.”  Ash returned the knife in one fluid motion, “On my honor I will try to...behave.”

“See Sergeant, don't give her a reason and everything will be just fine.  Maybe you'll even learn something.”
“Like I can trust a Dark Caste Jaguar.  If it were anyone else there is no way this would be green-lit but it comes right from the top.  So”

He sighed and breathed deep, “Welcome to Gambilon. I am at your service Majors Gray and Canto.”
“Ah so the commission did come through!”
“Yes it did Felicity,”
  The sergeant warily came within striking range of Ash before handing her a richly finished wooden box, “here you are former Watch Captain Ash Smoke Jaguar.  Her Radiance Magestrix Emma Centrella is pleased that you have accepted her offer.  You are now a Major in the Magistracy Armed Forces commissioned as Ashley Canto currently assigned to 'Gorgon's Pit' Special Operations Group LUCID.”

Ash accepted the box and opened it pinning the gold horizontal diamond to her belt for now, “Thank you Sergeant.  Now I believe I have much work to do before the rest of my unit arrives on world.  I hope for your sake it is engaging.”

“We will have to wait I cannot depart until the Magistrate personnel recover their objective from the cargo bay.  You're not the only valuable person on that shuttle.”

Four stasis tubes each one monitored by a pair of MedTechs were rolled down the ramp and into the transporter followed by Ashley, Felicity, and Michael.  Each of the tubes was secured in the cargo bay and their tenders were seated nearby. The other three say together on the uncomfortable webbing bench.  Michael looked toward the two Majors, “So what happened on Astrokaszy, I heard many things but none were verified.”

“I'll give you three questions Micheal but you know you can't know everything.”
“Did you really crash that prototype drop-ship you stole into the grounded Commonwealth Mercs Dropships?”
“Yes, it made for a spectacular fireball.  I do not think anyone will top that in the MIM's book of records.”
“You saw the bloody hand? Those cybernetic monsters in Shervanis.”

Felicity shook slightly as she recalled that terrifying memory where the Manei Domini trooper was consumed by Plasma but was smiling.  “Yes, never ask about them again or else.”
“You killed the Station Chief?”
“Yes, double dealing bastard.  No matter how much a man tries he can't please two very demanding women at the same time.  It was either Katherine or Emma and he made the wrong choice.” 
“So how much trouble are you in?”
“I only allowed three questions but I'll give you an extra.  I am in so much trouble that they put me in charge of training and won't let me out for a long while.”
“Really?  You in charge of training?  I feel terrible for your future students.”
“Me too.”  Ash added, “You are worse than any Kitmaster I ever trained under and my Sibko was one of the toughest in recent Jaguar history.”

They pulled up to the facility, a drab series of single story concrete buildings with three large Mech Bays, temporary tent quarters in one corner, the facility had a lot of construction equipment on-site.  “What's with all the construction Sergeant?”

“Well Dr Selaj and her people from Selene Station and the Niops Center for Human Enhancement need somewhere to stay.  This is now the main base of the Ebon Magistrate's LUCID group and we couldn't have done it without the Jaguars.”

Ash perked up, “Why?”

“Have you ever seen a Protomech Major?”

The Jaguar was confused for a moment before she realized he was referring to her, “I have heard of them but never seen one.  I went undercover on Ironhold during their creation and that eventually led me to the Inner Sphere.”

"The scientists here helped design them and they continue to push the limits of the Clan Enhanced Imagoc and the Direct Neural Interface developed in the Inner Sphere.  Ultimately trying to make Man and Machine move as a one.  Those girls were just the first batch there are others"

They walked over to one of the larger buildings that was filled with people the three of them stopping at the balcony while others went pass them.  Major Gray paused and pointed Ash towards something a hall filled with hundreds of people wearing charcoal gray clothes.

Gbilon has the largest collection of Smoke Jaguars in the Inner Sphere."  Ash looked at the new Smoke Jaguar banner hanging in the mess hall,  “You will feel right at home Ashley Canto.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 29 June 2018, 08:29:40
02/08/3068 Location – Zodiac Cruiser FCWS Sagittarius, Alyina Zenith Point, Jade Falcon OZ

Generals Archer Christifori, Reinholdt Steiner, and Paul Zardetto along with Colonel Katya Chafee, ONI Colonel Kylie Zola, and eight other Senior Colonels from the 10th and 3rd Lyran Guards in charge of the elements of TASK FORCE:  AVENGER sat in the briefing room of the Zodiac Cruiser FCWS Sagittarius.  The ready screen showed the miniaturized figures of the forces available, 2 Regiments of Battlemechs, 6 each of Supporting Ground Arms and Aerospace Fighters, twelve Assault dropships, and four Warships including the Sagittarius.

General Christifori still wore the original green AFFC uniform in defiance of Katherine’s changes years ago. No one above him cared to bust him on insubordination he was too talented a commander, “Colonel Zola would you like to begin?”

“Yes General, latest reports are positive. Both Generals Adam and Sarah Steiner were wounded in battle but they are still capable of command and their task forces mostly on track for their objectives.  Adam’s task force is held up over Bone-Norman, Sarah’s over La Grave.  saKhan James Cobb and Khan Vladimir Ward both report similar progress, the Wolves say it will be at least the end of March till they can make it to Sudetan as the Falcons have counterattacked their worlds.

Most of the Falcon’s fleet remains at large but the White Aerie, Blue Aerie, Lightning Strike, and Emerald Tornado are currently above Alyina as the Falcon’s saKhan Samantha Clees is planet-side.  They have issued a batchall, Delta, Epsilon, and Vau Galaxies against us.  They await a response General Christifori.”

Kylie had lingered on Vladimir Ward’s name, the surprise on Tharkad of his marriage to their Archon-Princess months ago still haunted some of the Command Staff.  The fact that the Tamar Wolves were fighting on the Commonwealth’s behalf while the Arc-Royal Wolves were not had damaged some of the trust that Grand Duke Kell had garnered in the years since he claimed the Arc Royal Defense Cordon as his personal fief.  His silence on the matter was deafening and drowned out his calls for Katherine to be arrested on Treason charges.  Those calls were secretly echoed within Archer’s heart though clearly the LIC was unaware of his intentions or he had enough friends on the inside to cover for him.

Archer had taken the young General Reinholdt Steiner under his wing.  His father, Caesar Steiner, was a skilled military commander and well respected throughout the Commonwealth, his apparent lack of political ambition had spared him of Katherine's purges.  Archer could respect Adam Steiner, the current heir-apparent until of course Katherine had revealed her vile brood with her Clan Khan husband which knocked him down the line of succession.  However, the man was not independently minded enough to take down Katherine who clearly had him under her thumb.  Sarah was similar to Adam, Katherine had finally given her the chance for vengeance against the Falcons after all these years.  Thus Reinholdt would have to do. 

Christifori was a proud patriot for the Lyran Commonwealth, had served alongside Victor Steiner-Davion all the way to Huntress and earned a medal for his heroism but he came back with Victor’s body and no lasting victory, demoted to a militia command before quitting and going mercenary.  Then his sister died in the Battle of New Avalon that saw Katherine complete her rise to power over the whole of the Federated Commonwealth.  Just collateral damage they said, regrettable but inevitable, he received an apology and compensation, as if blood money could buy his forgiveness for the loss of his only remaining family.

He found out about it while fighting alongside the Arcadians in the St Ives Compact.  He almost joined her during the Black May attacks perpetrated by Kali Liao’s thuggees.

 Then the war was lost and the Jade banner of the Confederation once more flies over St Ives.  The veterans displaced by the loss and Katherine’s purging of disloyal elements in the AFFC joined up with George Hasek’s forces, took up Magestrix Centrella's generous offer, or went back to their Homeworlds dispirited.  If Katherine had shown even an ounce of support for The St Ives Compact it would be free but she handed it over to Sun-Tzu for his support to her own ambitions just like she handed him the Sarna March.

Reinholdt though, he was good, Katherine had foolishly put him in charge of the 10th Lyran Guards traditionally commanded by the Archon’s successor or the Archon himself.  The 10th was still intensely loyal to the memory of Victor Steiner-Davion and embittered to Katherine’s sometimes callousness but she still provided them with some of the best equipment due to political pressure.  Most of their command had been rebuilt from other BULLDOG veterans with their captured Clan tech or whole salvaged Clan mechs.  The RCT was one of the most potent fighting forces in the Inner Sphere and the loss of their former commander had not dulled their edge.  In fact it made them more determined to never let something like that happen again. 

With some coaxing Archer could get his revenge on the White Witch and her treasonous intentions.  Reinholdt would return a War Hero and Archer already was one, there were enough commanders and nobles that would turn against her if there was a valid option for First Prince for which Reinholdt was quite qualified.  All he needed to do was ensure that the other Steiners with better claims didn’t make it back and the two of them did.  Archer could get the support of Dukes Hasek and Sandoval though Yvonne and Katherine’s puppet Countess-Regent in the Crucis March would oppose such a move.

Reinholdt looked toward him followed by Paul, “General are you okay?”

“Of course, I heard everything.  We have a week to prepare and the Two-Hundred Eighty-Eighth and Eleventh Donegal are proceeding as anticipated against Loremaster Pershaw.

I want plenty of sim time assigned for a combat drop, we haven’t done one from a Zodiac in combat conditions yet.  Admiral Richards can your people run some drills with the Skye to ensure we can get all the wings out in a timely manner?  I want to give the Sag enough room so that we don’t scatter our forces too much during a hot drop.”

Rear Admiral Lisa Mae Richard’s the Task Force’s Senior Aerospace pilot confirmed that it would be done.  Archer looked toward Colonel Zola, “Colonel are you certain that BLACK MAGIC will work as promised?”
“We have tested it on the target vessel types before.  Assuming that General Hawkins’ men have installed it correctly we have a high probability of success.”
“How high?”
“Eighty percent.”
“Well at least we have a one hundred percent solution in the tubes as well.”
“Yes General.  Though rules of engagement prohibit us from using them until we are truly desperate.  We do not want to invite reprisals from the Falcon’s Warships against undefended Commonwealth planets.”
“Not if we destroy the Jade Falcons first.”
“Sounds good, everyone return to your Commands we will meet again in five days to go over the final plan.”

The briefing room was emptied leaving only Archer standing and looking at a live feed from the expansive drop bays on the video screen. Rows and rows of Battlemechs and heavily upgraded Myrmidon IIs, Hunters, Hetzer IIs, Goblin IFVs, Striker, and Vali Tanks.

All capable of being deployed directly from this warship (or its attached small craft). Technicians flitted between units checking vital systems while crews and infantry troopers were exercising in the rows between some even in their armor. 

Archer opened a gold locket with his sister’s picture in it.  Back when she was young and vital, a gift given to him before he went off to BULLDOG expecting that he might not come back to remind him why he went, “I didn’t forget about you Andrea.  This just took longer than expected.  You will be avenged, I swear it ”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Kasaga on 01 July 2018, 09:11:52
Loving it.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 02 July 2018, 06:25:59
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 03 July 2018, 22:49:49
02/14/3068 04:28 Location – Zodiac Cruiser FCWS Sagittarius, Above Alyina, Jade Falcon OZ

Admiral Dieter Lange was seated securely before the holotank in the Strategic Command Center sweat dripped from his brow, past his headset, falling onto the red illuminated floor. He wiped it away with a handkerchief pulled from the coveralls under his blue and gold vacuum suit.  The hood that would be used in the event of a hull breach was clipped to the harness.  The rest of the command staff was seated in three dimensions throughout the armored cube.  Multiple consoles crunching data from many different sources from outside and inside the ship to keep the Admiral informed. 

“Bring the holo-tank online Ensign Pola”

One of the Ensign's seated above him shouted out, “Aye Sir, channeling all sensors feeds to the holo-tank.”

Before him motes of light popped into existence in the holotank's gain fluid across the black followed by velocity arrows and finally tags marking every point. Blue or Green Aerospace fighters danced through the void like fireflies, drop-ships will'o'wisps, and warships bright orbs; and there was a lot of green in front of them just beyond the engagement arc and before the curvature of the planet.

The light show represented a massive space operation only dwarfed by the defense of Irece against Clan Ghost Bear, even the recent and epic Battle of Tharkad was smaller in scale.  The pressure on him was immense but he would bear it with pride. The Admiralty knew the Falcons would use their Warships when pushed against the wall which meant that the offensive was working.

“Lieutenant Bianchi inform the Dark Wing to activate BLACK MAGIC.  Commander Valic, ready Santa Ana missiles in case that doesn't work.  These ships aren't designed for dancing with Clan Warships.”
“Aye Sir, missiles are in the tubes.  All gunnery and drop crews are ready, damage control on standby.”

Several minutes passed while their engagement arc neared that of the Falcons, “Dark Wing confirms that the packets have been sent.”
“How will we know if it works?”
“Colonel Zola says you'll just have to find out.  The program proved inconsistent regardless of how much effort ONI put into it's deployment.”
“Tell her that Falcons better get her Claymore first if it all goes wrong or the Sag will.”

The Lieutenant took a moment and hesitantly said, “Her response is very unprofessional Admiral.  I'll forward it to your console.”

Dieter looked at his left hand side console and swiped the message away, he keyed in the Command Frequency.  “All call-signs final report, we are to engage the enemy as planned.  Fighters protect the drop-ships until they clear the fighter screen and standby for close air patrols for the shuttle-craft when we get into range.”

Aboard the Black Lion CFJ White Aerie Star Admiral Gregory Qwabe floated in free-fall in the cramped command room.  He was wearing a bright green and yellow vacuum suit as the vessel was under General Quarters.  The red lights reflecting on his bald head and putting all of his features in brutal shadow.  His four Warships and Cluster of Aerospace fighters stood before the Lyran attack force. It was a rare chance for victory and honor for a Clan Warship Commander.  The two heavy Black Lion Cruisers' guns were in front of the Whirlwind Destroyer and Vincent Corvette in a firing line, the enemy would come right into his broadsides. “All Callsigns report in.”

All of his Star Captain's reported in and he watched as the engagement arc came closer just itching to give the order to fire the guns.  The Lyrans crossed the arc, then multiple alerts flashed on his command console.  “What is going on!”

His technical crew was frantically attempting to address the multiplying problems as they arose, “We have multiple system failures throughout the ship Star Admiral.  Targeting and Tracking systems are filling with false targets, multiple systems are stuck in diagnostics mode, and our power supply has fallen below the minimum needed for full combat operations.”

“Dezgra Commonwealth Surats!  Get me the saKhan!”
“Comm's are among the systems offline Star Admiral.”

Aboard the Whirlwind CJF Emerald Tornado Star Commodore Tanya watched as the rest of the Jade Falcon Warships just sat there.  Her warship's long range lasers were firing at the Cruiser Sagittarius which was firing back.  Jade Falcon Fighters were engaging the Lyran escort fighters to prevent the hostile dropships from making landfall, “Why aren't the other's firing?”

Her XO, Star Captain Aisho currently in the secondary command center came in over the line, “Commodore, Admiral Lange aboard the Sagittarius has ordered us to cease firing or face annihilation.  They claim to have already disabled our other Warships.'”
“They must have done so with some Dezgra trickery. Have you been able to raise them on the secondary channels?”
“Neg Star Commodore, they are adrift and the Commonwealth fighters and Warships are not engaging them.”

Tanya keyed in the encrypted microwave down-link to the Falcon's Field Base where the saKhan was managing the defense.  Her mannish face was topped with a very short bob of brown hair, “Star Commodore, how goes the orbital operations?”
“SaKhan the Spheroids have disabled the Aeries and Lightning Strike.  We cannot stop any of the Lyran forces without losing the Emerald Tornado.  Please advise.”
“Losing a Warship would be a major loss for the clan. We cannot replace them now that we have been cut off from the Homeworlds.  Let them come, I'll deal with them on the ground.  If they engage in any more trickery, well they already think you have given up.  Do what needs to be done.”

Tanya nodded, “Aff SaKhan.”

She switched channels to the Sagittarius where a handsome light haired man equally bathed in blood red hazard lights looked at her, “Admiral Lange, the Emerald Tornado will keep our weapons powered up but will stand by for this battle.  You make one move toward the other Falcon warships however and we will fire.  You haven't won this battle yet Stravag!”

Back on the Sagittarius Admiral Lange ensured the feed was off before relaxing, “I suppose I owe Colonel Zola an apology.  She may have saved hundreds of lives this day. 

I don't know if I can stand to give her the satisfaction though.”

05:28 "Falcon Flats", Alyina

A dozen Battlemechs fell out of the sky on blazing hot columns of air from their Jump Jets.  The heat from the jets scorched the grass underneath, each of the mechs landed with a crunch on the baked earth.  A small fire burned out from the blackened spots in the field consuming the lively stalks of tall green grass that reached to an Assault Mech's knees.

General Reinholdt Steiner of the 10th Lyran Guards spit out his mouth piece now that the shock of landing had passed.  He looked out from his Victor's cockpit at the Falcon Binary arrayed before him just beyond the thin smoke of the rapidly expanding fire his unit had created. 

His weapons systems readied themselves for battle, the Gauss capacitors humming with stored energy and he could hear the mechanical sound of ATM missiles being racked into the six pack on his Mech's left pectoral plate.  His three lasers were rapidly calibrating themselves to the local atmosphere.  A timer popped up on his HUD marking the time from drop.   

“Rhino is on the ground, moving to secure landing zone.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 04 July 2018, 01:12:08
Nicely written.  :thumbsup:  Love the threat to Zola.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 04 July 2018, 12:17:51
Nice up date! Star Commodore Tanya reminds me of Tanya the Evil.  >:D
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 11 July 2018, 15:04:24
02/19/3068 08:00 Location – Sanctum, Etienne’s Sanctuary (aka Sentarus), The Barrens

Commander Omar Wimmer stood in the elevator as it headed up The Spire.  It was a grand building thirty stories of darkened glass and steel, completely filled with offices and equipment.  He reached the top floor and looked out over Sanctum, an organized grid city with small factories, housing blocks, greenhouses, laboratories, and everything else you would need for a Clan colony.

A Dark Caste colony enabled by a chalcas cabal of Jade Falcon Merchants and Scientists building upon a former Rim Worlds Republic city.  A Free Port not under the Jade Falcon Warrior Caste’s control, a safe place to plan the overthrow of the Warrior Caste.  The planet’s HPG dish and the cooling towers for the cities nuclear fission power plant were visible near the horizon.  A Mule Dropship was lifting off from the drop-port nearby on a plume of white fire toward the black.   

The hard soles of his boots left marks in the plush carpet as he walked up to the cute blonde secretary that sat behind a glass and metal desk.  “Good Morning Commander, the Scientist-General is expecting you. Go right in.”

He walked toward the double doors that parted for him.  A high backed chair was faced away from him as he stepped forward past the glass and steel furniture and toward a large polished metal desk.  The chair rotated back and a balding, fat, older man with glasses attached to a gold chain and wearing a white suit with a mandarin collar faced him.

“Commander Wimmer, have a seat please.  I have some things to discuss about your very disturbing recent reports.”

The Commander removed his black and gold cover, sitting down on one of the three heavily cushioned chairs in front of the desk.  He smoothed his corn-rowed brown hair before putting the cover on the chair’s arm.  “Aff Scientist-General Etienne, the Falcon Warriors are being pressed hard on multiple fronts.  I am not certain they can hold much longer.”

Etienne grabbed a tablet computer and activated the miniature holoprojector built into his desk, the windows darkened and the lights lowered only illuminating the two participants.  A 3D representation of the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone floated in mid-air.  There were multiple blue (Lyran), gray (Wolf), and red (Hell’s Horses) thrusts stabbing into the Jade Green area.  The Scientist-General made a triangle with his hands and elbows toward his chin.  “Yes that is very problematic, I am going to conference in our allies Commander.  We must come up with a plan to deal with this unexpected assault.  The Commonwealth will become unstoppable unless we can support its enemies in some fashion.”

Two individuals materialized in hologram form in the chairs next to him, one was deeply shadowed and wearing a face mask speaking in a synthesized voice, the other was a man with heavy burn scars and patchy hair wearing a white lab coat. “Gentlemen, we have a problem, the Commonwealth and Allies stand a very real chance to take the Jade Falcon OZ in the coming months.  The loss of our cover Clan will prove very difficult to deal with, the Lyrans are far more likely to notice our activities and perhaps take action against us.”

The Faceless One spoke first, “At the same time though Scientist-General, the Commonwealth is vastly more powerful than the Jade Falcons.  Perhaps we can utilize them to forward our mission.”

The Burned Man spoke next, “Too dangerous, Kael Pershaw is the best Clan Watch Commander that is not a Spheroid.” 

His distain was evident as he was referring to Katherine Steiner (-Davion-Ward?) and Minoru Kurita, both Clan Loremasters and Freeborn Spheroids, “However, his talents are no match for Director Savinson or her Loki operatives.  We would be uncovered and at best kept as captive pets to forward their own ambitions just like the timid bitches of Tamar.”

“We could always consult with The Priestess again.  Though her fee was steep,” said Omar

Etienne made a dismissive gesture, “Too steep Commander, it is bad enough that we are Dark Caste. Now you would have us require more assistance from Spheroids that seek to subjugate us as the Warriors did.  No we will not speak of The Priestess again no matter how attractive her offers might be.

The Blinding Eye will have to be more hands on if we are continue to exist. I will forward a plan of action to you by day’s end.”

“Aff Scientist-General, signing off.”

The Two Holograms disappeared and the lights came back on.  “Commander, you are itching for battle. Quiaff?”

“Aff, for years Scientist-General.”
“Good I want you to take your best two Trinaries and help the Khan put down the Alpha Wolf.  The loss of Vladimir Ward will be a two-fold win for us in this battle.  You will likely die even if you are victorious upon Falcon’s claws but such a Warrior’s death it will be.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to earn the place in the remembrance that was denied me on Huntress.”
“Pity the Jade Falcon Warriors felt it fit to banish you to a Dark Wing cluster.  They lack vision in the true worth of a Warrior.  May you find an excellent battle waiting for you on Sudeten.”

“I am eager to meet it.  I will leave tomorrow.”
“You are dismissed Commander Wimmer.”

The Jaguar picked up his cover and placed it back on before saluting and walked out the doors.  The next day two Unions and one Danais dropship broke orbit burning toward a Tramp jumpship heading toward Sudetan.  Their mission, to face the Wolves in the battle that might decide the fate of the Jade Falcons.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 12 July 2018, 09:12:02
02/04/3068 15:11 Location – Kirishima Cruiser DCS Takashi, Orestes Zenith Point, Rasalhague Republic Remnant

Theodore Kurita was bound to an infirmary bed with multiple leads attached to him.  The man had suffered a stroke last week leaving the Draconis Combine a nation at war with itself was now without its leader.  His son Hohiro was now Coordinator but was filled with uncertainty at the proper course of action.  At the moment he was praying that his unconscious father would awaken and provide the firm hand necessary to wield the Draconis Combine as he had done for 24 years one more.  The fact that Theodore was incapacitated was kept secret to prevent any from taking advantage of the situation.

Hohiro’s family was still safe on New Samarkland so that seemed an obvious new destination but it was on the other side of the Combine and he wasn’t sure who he could trust.  The seizure of Luthien by the Black Dragon Society and the apparent death of his half-brother as well as reports of attacks on Irece against his actual brother filled him with dread.  The Black Dragons had already killed his sister and even though his father had engaged in brutal purges against their ranks they still swelled.

A voice interrupted Hohiro’s prayers, “Coordinator-sama, urgent message from Dieron addressed to you only”
He looked over to see one of the dark green jumpsuit wearing DCA Junior Officers hanging onto one of the many multi-purpose loops that lined every corridor.  “I shall return.”

Hohiro followed the man to the nearest secure Comm Station and went in, engaging the proper security protocols and using his cypher to decrypt the message, “Coordinator Kurita, this is Precentor Gina Kuruso of the 8th Word of Blake Militia Divison, Dieron is now under the protective ward of The Word of Blake.  We urge you to come and see what we have to offer.  Send a response and we can speed you along faster if you desire.  Blake’s Blessings be upon you and the Combine.”

“The Word of Blake is occupying Dieron?  What happened to the Regulars?  Where they compromised by the Black Dragons too?  This Precentor didn’t even mention them.”

Hohiro thought about it for a moment he had a Warship and 3 Invader Jumpships currently under his command.  Dieron was several weeks away he could probably increase the force along the way with reasonably loyal DCMS troops.  He opened up a comm-line to the Captain, “Captain Yamushi, set a course for Dieron.”
“Hai Coordinator”

02/07/3068 19:17 Location - New Barcella, Irece, Nova Cat Dominion

Khan Santin West was resting after another bout with the remnants of 6th Benjamin Regulars.  His charcoal gray Elemental armor was pitted with bullet holes and roughly patched in places it was still functional just not as pretty since the Nova Cat’s Abjuration only the continued trade with Clan Diamond Shark allowed his Touman to retain the clan technological edge it once had.  An edge that was rapidly eroding as the Wolves and Commonwealth now boasted the largest collection of Clan Tech weapons due to Katherine’s relationship with the Wolf Khan. 

The rest of his Vision Keshik were repairing their equipment as best they could while the 1st Irece Militia Trinary kept an eye out for more DCMS Battlemechs.  There were fewer enemies every day but the Regulars continued to engage in hit and run attacks and evade his Alpha Galaxy.

The surprise attack of the 6th and 15th Benjamin Regulars, reborn 3rd Amphigean Light Assault Group, and three Warships (Galedon Explorer, Winds of Heaven, and Urizen II) had disrupted the entire Dominion.  Nova Cat SaKhan Karl Devalis and Loremaster Minoru (Kurita) had been engaged on different worlds each targeted for effect.  Khan West hadn’t received any other reports of activity from either over the past week which was reassuring.

A brief tone came over the communicator built into his head-covering, “Khan West here, go ahead.”
“Khan West, we just received an HPG from Wolcott.  General Brett-Marik is calling for a rescue operation for the remaining expeditionary force.  He was betrayed by the DCMS as well but fought his way to the HPG.”
“What forces do we have in the area?  I will lead the mission personally.  That man saved me once I shall return the favor.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 13 July 2018, 13:34:13
04/27/3068 08:17 Location – CWDS Golden Fleece, En route to Sudetan, Jade Falcon OZ
The Corridors within the massive Golden Fleece were filled with regimented activity, Technicians and Warriors in olive drab jumpsuits were moving between frames of the Dropship.  Various odors mixed together to form a pungent aroma that took about ten days to adjust to but afterwards just smelled like home.

Wolf Khan Vladimir Ward climbed the ladder toward the Command Deck with a toothpick between his teeth.  He had grown accustomed to the native Tamar cuisine (North African, Middle Eastern, Indian food) so much so that the normal rations that he had grown up on were now bland in comparison.  He never would have thought that it was possible before living there for the past ten years, the last decade had seen him rise from a Star Captain bested by a freeborn to a Khan married to one.

Upon clearing the hatch and continuing his trip to the Deck he fingered the wedding band that hung on a chain necklace both given to him by Katherine.  He had only worn the ring twice, once during the ceremony and the night after.  The second time was at the Final Whitting Conference when he showed up as a surprise guest on Tharkad.  The look on the other Spheroids faces was burned into his mind. It was priceless and among his fondest memories, right next to killing Elias Crichell in front of the Grand Council and in the process founding Clan Wolf all over again, his Wolves not Kerensky's but worthy of the legacy.  Just thinking about it brought a smile to his face.

The Command Deck was relatively empty only the Star Captain responsible for the ship and five technicians manning various system consoles.  Telltales calmly beeped and the status lights were all green and flickering gently.  Everyone was at ease carrying out their duties during wartime, such was the way of the Clans. 

Vlad Ward spit the toothpick out into a waste bag, "Hail Khan Pryde."
"Aye sir"

The Jade Falcon's Khan Marthe Pryde appeared on the screen before him, she was smiling, her tanned face slightly shaded under the beret that she wore, "Vladimir it has been too long since we have seen each other.  Quiaff?"
"Aff Marthe, yet we find ourselves on the wrong side of history once more.  I want you to know that I honor the Falcons in the coming fight, that is why the Wolves will handle it."
Her mood darkened, "As opposed to letting your Stravag Commonwealth Allies continue the Annihilation of my Clan!"
Vlad was undisturbed, "The Commonwealth forces are following Zellbrigen as I requested they do.  They hide nothing and are attempting to reduce needless battle.  I have heard more reports of the Falcons engaging in Dezgra behavior then otherwise.  They bring dishonor to Clan Jade Falcon and reflect poorly on their Khan.  If I wanted to Annihilate the Falcons I would have allowed them to use the Warships."
"You have betrayed the Clans with your Chalcas behavior Vlad.  Marrying a Freeborn!"

She spit on the words, "giving the strongest State in the Inner Sphere our advanced technology.  This is why Kerensky left the Inner Sphere in the first place.  You will bring nothing but ruin to the Clans and Inner Sphere."
"Perhaps but that might be what is necessary Khan Pryde.  Once we began REVIVAL the clock started, things were never going to be the same.  Tukayyid has given the Inner Sphere enough time to bring the clans down if they reunite, they already killed the Smoke Jaguars, the Nova Cats fled the Homeworlds and already share Tech with the Draconis Combine.  Most of the Commonwealth forces currently biting into your Occupation Zone are doing so with standard Battlemechs unaided by Clan Tech.  I am continuing the mission all the way to Terra as intended.  The Falcons will join me or be my enemy.  And you know what I do to my enemies."

Khan Ward grabbed another toothpick from his jumpsuit's breast pocket, relishing the minty coating.  He inserted a disk into the Command Deck's transmission console, "I am transmitting my batchall Khan Pryde.  A Trial of Absorption for Clan Jade Falcon.  How do you respond?"

Khan Vladimir Ward’s Alpha, Kappa, and Epsilon Galaxies, Warships CWS Dire Wolf, Blood Drinker, Stealthy Kill
Khan Marthe Pryde’s Turkina Keshik as well as Iota, Omega, and Zeta Galaxies plus Commander Omar Wimmer’s Black Flag Force (Two Society Trinaries), Warships CJF Hawker, Turkina's Pride, Green Lantern, and Kerensky's Blues

05/01/3068 14:27 Location – Jarho Island, Sudeten, Jade Falcon OZ

Khan Vladimir Ward kept the cockpit of his Mech open while disembarking on Jarho Island from the Golden Fleece.  He breathed deeply of the hot fetid jungle air, Marthe had bid him down to the Golden Keshik versus the Turkina Keshik the Wolf's Elite versus the Falcon's Best.  Wolf Elementals clung to every mech in his Command Nova from the camouflaged Timber Wolf E, a Shadow Cat, and Ice Ferret, already in motion pushing their way into the jungle, a Gargoyle and Linebacker rounded out the Star.

The vast rain-forest and mangrove swamps of this island would put his Wolves at a disadvantage compared to the slightly more mobile Falcon mechs.  The emerald green paint scheme the Falcon's favored would also provide greater camouflage against the bright leaves of the massive banyon analog trees.  He heard a screech and looked up to see a large Jade Falcon taking flight from one of the trees.  The emerald green bird had traveled all the way from the Homeworlds to find a new home in the Inner Sphere and it had adapted just as it's Totem Clan had.  He couldn't help but stop and admire the creature in mid-flight as much as he was tempted to fire one of his lasers it's way. 

“Well bid Marthe, I will find you in that jungle.  Then the Falcons will be mine as well.”

Khan Ward closed and sealed his cockpit returning to the sterile clean cold air that he was accustomed to.  “Golden Keshik move out.  Engage at will.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 19 July 2018, 08:25:15
04/15/3068 Location – Parakoila system Nadir Point, Federated Commonwealth

The inside of a matte gray ST-46C small craft was lit with a faint red light, the two pilot’s display screens confirmed that their escort of Jagatai Aerospace Fighters were still following them.  A Du Shi Wang was taking up much of the forward view screen.  A pair of Comitatus Jump Carriers, a Congress Frigate, and Fox Corvette rounded out the battlegroup.

The co-pilot keyed in the Comms as they entered the battleship’s weapon range, “Blood Moon this is Scorpio-Six, awaiting docking permissions for prisoner transfer.”

“Scorpio-Six transmitting flight path and permissions now.”

The pilot received the packet, “Scorpio-Six confirms Blood Moon.  10 minutes to docking”

Inside the isolated crew compartment of the vessel sat three Jade Falcons still in their dark green combat uniforms and six armed Alptraum Commandos in black vacuum armor, their mirrored visors reflecting the faces of their restrained prisoners.  “Fifteen minutes, then you are the Wolves’ problem.”

The younger man of the trio spoke, an older trueborn warrior with black hair, “Like there is any difference now.”

“Wolf problems don’t tend to bother us.”

The older man gray and frail except for his many cybernetic augmentations looked at them with the most condescending gaze that he could muster with only one good eye, “Wolf problems have a way of being both catastrophic and contagious.  I would not be so sure of safety.”
“Regardless, I will be happy to not be responsible for you three anymore.”
“It wounds me that you find my company so distasteful.”
“You want wounds! I’ll find a place that still has natural nerves to make you feel pain for real.  You alone cost me three troopers already.”
“Eye for an Eye etcetera.  I will miss our time together Captain Tetra.”

Fifteen minutes later Scorpio-Six was in docking unit 4C, the space was pressurized with cold sterile air and the ramp lowered to the gunmetal steel. A Point of Marines and a dozen other Wolves occupied most of the floor space.  The prisoners were marched out to stand before a woman with a lithe frame, pale skin, short white hair and icy blue eyes wearing a winter camouflage uniform.

The Old Falcon stood tall almost eye to eye with the woman, “You must be Loremaster Katherine.  I missed you at the meetings.” 
The last comment brought a smile to the woman’s face, “I was otherwise engaged Loremaster Pershaw, or rather former Loremaster.  Your Falcons have long been a problem to the Wolves and Lyran state both so I am doubly glad to see them brought low.  I trust you found our accommodations to your liking.”

“Quite satisfactory in fact, reminds me of my time on Glory, the rats are not quite as vicious however.  It took three Clans to bring us down Katherine but we are unbowed, the Falcons will rise again.”
“I expect there will not be time for that.  Your absorption is merely part of a greater plan.  Vladimir Ward and I are going to take Terra and you are going to help us.”

The other two had a surprised look on themselves especially the woman that looked near Katherine’s age and build but with dark hair.  Kael Pershaw let out a rare laugh but it was dark and inspired fear more than levity, “You should have led with that.  Ah, if only we could see the look on Perigard Zalman’s face Diana if he were to have heard that.  He might die all over again.”

Katherine stepped a few paces toward Star Captain Diana Pryde both women eyed the other up, “So this is Diana Pryde in the flesh.  I like you, you cause problems, and find solutions just like me.” 
Katherine winked at the woman, “You are very cute too.”
Diana smiled slightly, “Katherine, I saw your fight with Katya in the Arena. I am impressed though I think you got lucky.  It is unfortunate that I did not get a chance to capture your handsome brother on Coventry.  I would have looked forward to being his bondholder and showing him the ways of the Jade Falcons.  As well as your eventual challenge to get him back.”
“We can fight each other at a later time if you desire Diana.  My Shadow Cat vs your Nova?”
“I think I might take you up on that offer Katherine.  At a later time, of course.”

Katherine went over the other Warrior, “Brian Pryde, I hear good things about you.  Chief among them that you are a dangerous foe.  I almost did not want you to make it for I am a little jealous that you are the designated successor to Kael Pershaw’s legacy.”
“You can always challenge me for it.  I think I would make quick work of a chalcas freeborn hussy like you.”
“I think you would be surprised at what I am capable of Star Colonel.  On and off the battlefield.”

Katherine stepped back to her starting position, “Well since introductions are complete Captain Tetra please release the prisoners and continue on.”
Captain Tetra retracted the mirrored visor, “But Archon-Princess.  These Jade Falcons are extremely dangerous.”
“I gave you an order Captain.”
“Yes Archon-Princess.”
  The Loki commandos undid the cuffs and neck restraints from the Falcons, Diana and Brian massaged the feeling back into their wrists.  Katherine turned around toward the airlock and everyone followed except Captain Tetra’s commandoes who boarded their ST-46C and returned to the Scorpio.

The three Falcons and Katherine all settled into her suite of quarters aboard the Blood Moon, the Tamar Cage Works having added first class accommodations for Katherine, family, and “guests” (or a group of Flag Officers) as part of the upgrades to the ancient Battleship.  The four of them were currently in the Mess portion of the suite which was clan utilitarian but not cramped even though there were six other Tau Galaxy wolves currently sitting with them.  Kael Pershaw asked the question the others were thinking, “So Loremaster, where are we headed?”

Katherine finished her cup of tea and returned the magnetic cup to the table, “Two weeks to Sudeten.  I have not seen my husband in months and would like to congratulate him on his impending victory.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 19 July 2018, 11:32:31
Wasn't Vlad already dead? Or is this me catching up with republishing.  xp
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 19 July 2018, 11:36:25
Part I of the Battle of Jarho Island, Showdown on Sudeten


Jarho Island, the largest island on Sudetan was isolated from the main landmasses in the planet's vast ocean.  Unsettled and kept as a massive wildlife preserve its fetid jungles and mangroves existed in the shadow of foggy mountains.  A Great Reef off its western coast was home to innumerable ocean life that still were not fully cataloged even after centuries of habitation due to its remote and hostile location. 

No Sudetanese ever went there willingly, to many exotic insect and waterborne diseases that even the Star League's Colonial Era genetic improvements were unable to combat.  An LIC black site was rumored to be located somewhere nearby but the Jade Falcons never found any evidence of such a location.  The Clan forces had arrayed themselves on the North and South portions of the island, Turkina Keshik on the north side and Golden Keshik on the south.  Hundreds of hectares of difficult terrain lay between them.

Vladimir Ward's Timber Wolf's foot crashed down on a jungle palm knocking the tree down and into a fetid grove of Jarho Island on Sudetan.  Foot prints like some ancient dinosaur on Terra were pressed into the soft waterlogged soil in its wake.  A mixed Star of Ares and Carnivore tanks followed behind his command Nova their treads climbing over fallen trees.  His Elementals were picking their way along the flanks their movements graceful, unimpeded, and cloaked by the undergrowth. 

The sound of the Carnivores splintering tree trunks under their treads echoed across the grove.  Vladimir felt nostalgic for the awful terrain that reminded him so much of the Kerensky Cluster.  The Inner Sphere worlds were just not dangerous or interesting enough for him, “This place reminds me of Huntress.”

Mechwarrior Jorge Kline, an abtakha Ice Hellion and one of the scouts currently piloting a “Wolf Hunter” twenty klicks ahead came in over the BattleNet, “Aff Khan Ward, dreadful and desolate, a place filled with predators.”

The other advance scout, a Warrior formerly of Clan Nova Cat came in over the Battlenet, “Still no sign of the Jade Falcons Khan Ward.  There are only a few Mech prints and no residual heat despite the satellite's readings.”

The grove ended at a tributary to the Jarho River whose width was almost completely covered from aerial observation by the vast canopy. The Star Commander in charge of the tanks came in over the radio, “The water is too deep my Khan.  We will cover you for as long as possible from this bank before regrouping with Star Captain Torc upstream.”

“Jorge, how deep is this river?”
The Ice Ferret/Wolf Hunter entered the river slowly snapping branches along the way.  The medium mech was waist deep in the water. “To deep for tanks, the flow is slow however so the Elementals should be able to hold on.”
“Aff Jorge, the Falcon’s trail leads us to the other side of this river.  All Elementals return to your host Mech.  We will ford the river and fight whomever is on the other side.”

The Wolf Elementals boarded the omnis clinging to them like ticks as they crossed the River.  An extra Point of Elementals was dispersed between the other mechs completely filling all the available positions on the Mech’s torsos.  The 30 suits disembarked upon clearing the river blending into the environment and keeping a wary eye out for hostiles.  The five mechs of Khan Ward’s command headed deeper into the jungle while the armor headed upstream to rejoin the rest of the cluster.

Commander Omar Wimmer had hacked the feed from the Wolf’s recon satellites from his Hades Omnimech, an advanced version of the long serving Hellbringer designed primarily for electronic warfare.  He watched as the Wolf Khan's IFF beacon flashed showing that his Mech passed into the Smoke Jaguar's hunting grounds.  The other units in his command (2 Mixed Bnaries {1 Hades (2 cERPPC, 2 cAMS, 2 cMPL, 4t Comms), 2 Stooping Hawks (cERPPC, ATM9, Nova CEWS), 6 Corvii (2 ATM 6, Nova CEWS), Point of Clan Assault Infantry}, one of Roc Protomechs, and one of Undine Battle Armor) were barely visible under the Mangroves, sheltered as they were under the electronic fog of their Electronic Warfare gear compounded by the thick canopy and shallow water that obfuscated thermal and visual ID. 

His Sub-Commander had already hacked the communications of both sides transferring the ciphers to their base though it took time and effort as the Wolf’s communications were more heavily encrypted due to ONI's influence.  They could remote control the battle by subtly manipulating what the Warriors saw and heard just like they had done for more than a decade.

The Blinding Eye had long used an underwater LIC Black Site found during the conquest of Sudeten for their own purposes.  Intentionally spreading virulent diseases and rumors that kept people away from this location while utilizing the world’s position as the Jade Falcon’s capital and the apathy of its Warrior Caste to gather information and technology. 

Now it was time for their preparations to pay off, Khan Ward was the first target and with Khan Pryde in the field as well the future was looking up for their conspiracy.  Omar put his fist under his chin in contemplation, “Now the real question is do I kill him myself or let the Falcons do it?”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 20 July 2018, 08:33:57
Battle of Jarho Island, Showdown on Sudeten II

Commander Omar Wimmer pushed through the swamp, each step of his heavy Omnimech causing waves in the green water as he picked his way between sprawling Mangrove trees.  The waves rose and broke against the trunks like the tide before immediately dropping their energy and returning to stillness.  Thick vines were chopped down by bayonets on the Roc Protomech’s main gun rather than risk aerial observation of fallen trees pulled down by Omnimechs snapping them.  The 50 assault infantry followed on rubber craft doing what they could to maintain stability in the wake of the 18 strong Omnimech unit.  Undine battle armor clung to their host Mechs to keep pace.

The Blinding Eye unit kept moving upstream while Wolf Khan Vladimir Ward moved across the terrain guided by navigation satellites and landmarks.

Vladimir Ward looked out at the terrain in front of him, relatively firm ground with good forest cover beside a wide river.  The Jarho River continued its course west to break up into a delta from this location.  “This place reeks of danger, keep your eyes peeled.  We had sensor contacts out here minutes ago.”

He pulled up the overview map reported from this GPS location something didn’t match up a terrain feature was off.  Vlad cycled back to a historical survey map from the Commonwealth that he had put into his BattleROM prior to deployment at the reported location.  There was a subtle but distinct difference between the two.  The hairs on his forearms stood up, something was wrong.  “Alpha Wolf to Torc Light.”

Star Captain Xavier Torc was the closest of his sub-commanders he should be just Northeast of this location.  However, there was only silence on the radio except for his Star members.

A foreboding voice came in over his BattleNet, “No one can hear your cry Wolf.”
Every one of Vlad’s Mechs shifted up to full combat power in that instant, readying for the impending fight, “Show yourself.”

2 Hellbringers (Hades but identical on the outside), 4 Stooping Hawks, and 12 Corvis Mechs (each with a dozen missiles positioned around their hands like a Nova's lasers) as well as 25 Roc Protomechs revealed themselves from the surrounding jungle, their gray and green camouflage pattern perfectly optimized for the terrain.  The Omnimechs were gathered into threes while the Protos maintained the standard five unit Point.  Vlad’s Command Nova only had 5 Mechs and 30 Elementals they were horribly outnumbered and outgunned by the enemy force.

Vlad wasn't afraid, he was a Clan Warrior they were always outnumbered until fact he missed those times, “You are not Falcons.”

“Neg not Falcons Khan Ward, I am Commander Omar Wimmer, the last of the Smoke Jaguar’s Nineteenth Striker Cluster.  I was the one that killed Hang Mehta in her cowardice on Huntress during our dark times.  I was denied the opportunity to fight again on Tranquil for Brendon Corbett as the Jade Falcons harvested me en route.  But I am no Jade Falcon, I will always be Smoke Jaguar.”

Vlad noticed that his overlay map and communications had been restored to their normal settings he didn’t know why that was but didn’t care either.  He sent a silent alert to the CWS Dire Wolf currently orbiting the planet, transmitting the signal by piggybacking it on the telemetry backchannel.  This fight couldn’t be won alone and since it wasn’t part of Marthe’s bid he wasn’t going to face dishonor for calling in help either. 

All he needed to do was buy time for reinforcements and fight for his life.
It was going to be thrilling.

Aboard the Union-X IWS Avalanche, Loremaster Katherine and Star Colonel Diana Pryde were monitoring the progress of the Trial.  Kael Pershaw and Brian Pryde were both secure on the Blood Moon under the vigilant eye of Star Admiral Edgar Reinhold’s Marines.  The Galaxy Commanders of the other Wolf and Falcon units present were still aboard their dropships ready to get into the fight at any moment if the call came. 

There were currently a dozen warships and dozens more dropships from both Clans and the Commonwealth orbiting Sudeten all filled with Warriors who had itchy trigger fingers.  The heavy hitters of both fleets were constantly on alert in case something interfered with the honorable combat below.  If shooting broke out between the Texas CWS Nicholas Kerensky, Du Shih Wang CWS Blood Moon, and Mjolnir FCS Yggdrasil’s Battle Group, against the Nightlord CJF Emerald Talon and Texas CFJ Falcon’s Nest plus their escorts, such a battle could wipe everyone currently in space out within minutes.

The two women held themselves in freefall in the dropship’s lounge watching and waiting as battle reports came in.  Both had someone they cared about in the field, for Katherine her husband Vladimir and for Diana her “Aunt” Marthe both engaged in a Trial fated to be worth more than a few lines in the Remembrance of their respective Clans.  The Captain chimed in on the overhead, “Loremaster, the Khan has sent a distress call.  The Avalanche is the next dropship to come into alignment on his position.”

“The Dire Wolf just reported it in, unregistered combatants in the Circle of Equals not Falcons.  He wants to keep it low key.  We will be in position in five minutes, I’ve already ordered the Techs to prepare for a hot drop of all jumping mechs.  The Sunrise Sailor will be right behind us.”

Katherine looked over at the other Freeborn with an icy gaze, “I’ll be there in three,” she killed the microphone, “and you are coming with me.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Dave Talley on 20 July 2018, 11:14:47
a Katherine I actually like
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 20 July 2018, 21:38:03
And this'll be interesting....
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 21 July 2018, 15:55:13
Commander Omar Wimmer go ahead make Kat mad...  you not seen crazy before
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 22 July 2018, 17:35:28
Showdown on Sudeten part III, Shadows of the Past


Khan Ward's Timber Wolf crushed one of the Roc Protomechs attempting to box him in.  The Heavy Battlemech crushed through the chest plate of the proto with a sickening crack like stepping on a large beetle.  His last flight of HE ATMs cored out another which dropped in the battle scarred landscape. His remaining heavy pulse laser cut through one of the Stooping Hawks that were keeping his attention the mech seemed un-phased as most of a ton of armor was melted off creating a steam cloud in the wet grass. 

The enemy Corvis' missiles peppered his tortured half of a Mech as he struggled to keep the machine upright under the weight of the assault.  Falling would be death with the protomechs swarming the combat area.  Sweat filled the headband of his neurohelmet as the cooling jacket was working overtime to check the heat from a compromised fusion engine.  He watched the countdown timer for the first round of reinforcements from orbit, seconds stretched like hours in his heightened awareness.  He could see the drag chutes and flaring jump jets of the first group and the fireballs of the next less than half a klick from his position.  All he had to do now was get there.

Most of his Nova was already down with just half a Gargoyle still in the fight but only barely.  The assault Mech crushed another of the Rocs under it's massive feet while a ferro-nickel slug punched through one of the attacking Corvii.  The projectile found ammo and the medium mech lit up in an orange fireball as it's left side was blown away, the associated arm blown into the jungle canopy.  However it just keep attacking.

The smoking remains of his previous star-mates were being swarmed by foot infantry, there was nothing Khan Ward could do to aid them, they would die a Warrior's death at least.  The slagged remains of a Linebacker were slumped down, it's superior mobility unable to save it from being surrounded.  The enemy mechs just kept coming at him, staying at range and throwing down four PPCs downrange followed by swarms of missiles from their support with unerring accuracy.

Half a klick to the east, two Falconers, two Changelings (equipped like Griffins), a Horned Owl, Conjurer, Shadow Cat, and Nova landed in a clearing with a crash. The Mechs' knee joints absorbing the stress of landing on the spongy ground but only just barely as they hadn't use their jets to decelerate as much as protocol demanded due to the urgency of their mission. 

Loremaster Katherine's Shadow “Kat” underwent a quick diagnostic run while her Watchdog CEWS system powered up, multiple streams of data flicked through the HUD while the DI computer turned them into a composite.  Once all systems were green the unit quickly leapt over the trees smashing them in the wake of their rapid advance upon landing. 

The Sunrise Sailor's 8 other Mechs were coming in from the West, Katherine could see their IFF beacons' distance rapidly closing.  The two dropships' fighter craft were also screaming out of the sky, four Rapiers and Lightnings rapidly setting themselves up for a strafing run.

Commander Omar Wimmer was calm only the barest bit of sweat came down from his dark hair and skin.  More targets had come into his hunting ground.  Khan Ward was on the ropes all he needed to do was deliver the finishing blow but if he could use him as bait for a little while longer that suited him just as well. 

There was nothing that was going to deter him from his mission it was just a bonus that he could kill plenty of wolves along the way.  He pulled the trigger and let two bolts of lightning loose toward the Gargoyle which folded under the combined firepower of his fellow Hades and one of the Stooping Hawks that was sending his unit targeting data across their encrypted Battlenet.  The Assault mech let out a final salvo which took the head right off a Stooping Hawk but the damage was done and the remnants of the machine collapsed with a crash, cored out by the concentrated firepower.

Another Stooping Hawks, a pair of Corvii, and a Point of Rocs were destroyed during a strafe against the closest units to the last remaining Mech which contained Khan Ward.  He was still overwhelmed and his last heavy weapon disappeared as his remaining arm was taken off by a Roc's laser. “Make sure he doesn't escape and kill the others for now.”

“Aff Commander”

One of the Roc's walked up to the Gargoyle's cockpit and fired it's laser into the helpless Warrior in a dezgra manner.  Vlad's Timber Wolf's legs were taken out by the frenzied Rocs, one was crumpled by the final kick from the machine that sent it flying into a tree.  Blue and Gold painted Battlemechs broke into the forest clearing first.  Their lasers and missiles cleared out the closest Rocs to the Khan's fallen mech.

The remaining Mechs including a Nova in Falcon Guard's colors followed shortly behind. 
Omar couldn't believe his luck, “Zeta Galaxy? 

Loremaster, what an honor to see you. 
I've been waiting a long time for my vengeance and this will make it that much more complete.”

Katherine icy cold voice came in over the radio, “Who are you?”  The Shadow Cat and Hades faced one another as each was clearly marked with a high level insignia.
“The last Smoke Jaguar.”
“Unlikely.  I know of others and hunt them down when I no longer have a use for them.
I am clearly destined to always be cleaning up my brothers' messes.”
“Your trothkin destroyed my Clan Katherine.”
“Your Clan was weak before Huntress Jaguar. Your Khan murdered him in cowardice.  You'll die here.”

Azure particles gathered at the barrels of PPCs, the Blinding Eye and Wolf forces picking their targets for the upcoming conflagration. 

Omar's tone was mockingly dark, “I know.  But it won't be because of you Freeborn.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 23 July 2018, 15:29:23
Please, Please Stop making me root, root, root for for Katherine, Please!!!! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 31 July 2018, 17:03:54
Showdown on Sudeten IV

The Two Zeta Falconer held the center their bulky hunched forms walking forward across the battlefield.  Katherine’s nimble Shadow Cat and the Horned Owl were on the Right Flank, Diana’s crouched Nova and the Conjurer on the Left.  The Changelings guarded the rear of their friendlies from the still numerous Rocs, the grotesque bird-men moved across the cratered ground with an unusual gait so natural but unnatural at the same time.

Their presence chilled Katherine just as much as the cooling vest that was currently wrapped around her barely clothed torso.  Her Shadow Cat could fight them at range but her unit needed to draw the interlopers away from Vladimir's helpless Timber Wolf.  “Keep them away from the Khan.  Another Binary is en route”

Katherine toggled her weapons screen, her ERPPC focused on her target, one of the eight remaining Corvii, it's crouched birdlike form a mimic of her own Shadow Cat's.  “lets leave them with nothing but wrecks.  Quiaff?”

The other seven Mechwarriors in her group responded with varying degrees of icy determination,  “Aff Loremaster.”

The Wolves and Jaguar's forces met with a clash, Supersonic Gauss slugs tore into the broad chest of the Stooping Hawks and were followed by accelerated ablating particles from the Falconer's PPCs.  Missiles streaked from the Changelings and Corvii, broad groups of them exploded in mid air as the Hades' AMS triggered and spit out metal flechettes that tore into the missiles' casing but some struck true.

The concentrated fire of three Blinding Eye mechs tore into the lead Falconers, causing the heavy weight mechs to stumble under the fire.  The flanks were equally engaged, Katherine's Shadow Cat attempted to drop a Roc that was making itself a nuisance but the stubborn creature refused to die absorbing far more punishment than expected for it's small size. 

Five Rocs and a group of Corvii engaged her mech some of their missiles were shot out of the sky as Katherine's AMS mounted high on her left shoulder resulting in a tinkling of shrapnel hitting the armored canopy of her mech.  The noise mildly annoyed her but it was better than her cockpit getting hit with a missile again.  The Shadow Cat jumped and wove through flights of missiles occasionally taking a solid volley that shook the middle weight machine.  It's superior mobility ensured that the Rocs couldn't surround her but kept her from getting behind the Hades that was spitting hellish particles at her pack mates. 

Her wing-man in the Horned Owl's heavy large laser and paired heavy machine guns regularly dropped the Rocs with each volley.  Diana and the Conjurer on the other side were heavily engaged with other mechs her Nova's heavy firepower dropped Rocs with relative ease and her paired AMS systems shot down flights of the Corvis' powerful HE ATMs that threatened to tear apart her mech as the enemy attempted to down the Jade Falcons' ace freeborn warrior.

Commander Wimmer's cooling vest was kicking into overdrive as his Hades' began to overheat under the pressure of the attack.  His Rocs were dropping rapidly and the other mechs were running low on ammunition and armor having already fought a battle.  His paired ERPPCs tore into one of the Falconer's one of the best designed mechs in the Inner Sphere made better by the addition of Clan technology courtesy of Vladimir Ward's treachery.  He could see Katherine's Shadow Cat jumping a weaving as the Corvis mechs pressed the attack. 

“Stavag Wolves!  Pull back everyone.  I'll hold them off.”
“Aff Commander.”
  The Stooping Hawks and Corvii began to disengage utilizing their mobility and the sacrifice of the Roc pilots to gain ground on the Lyran/Wolf counterattack.

“I an going to make sure the mission is done though.”  He toggled the targeting reticle over Vladimir's cockpit and pulled the trigger sending twin spirals of man-made lightning into the ferroglaz turning it to slag.

Katherine watched as Vlad's cockpit was slagged, “NO!  You're dead now Jaguar.”

The rest of the company engaged the paired Hades, supersonic gauss slugs, dozens of missiles, and numerous forms of energy tore into the machines until they were nothing but melted slag.  Katherine's Shadow Cat walked up to the Jaguar's Mech crushing the cockpit like an egg under her Mech's foot although it had already broken under the assault. 

Some of the Corvii and the Stooping Hawks escaped into the jungle leaving behind the Lyrans and Wolves.  Diana came in over the radio, “Should we pursue Katherine?”

Katherine was barely holding it together but checked her Watchdog instruments, “No.  We won't be able to find them with their jammers still active, not in that mess at least.”

A slightly accented man's voice came over the radio, “Glad you could make it dear.”

She perked up at the voice and headed toward the charred and downed Timber Wolf, “Vlad?”
“You're Alive!”
“I am.  Did you think some Dezgra Ex-Smoke Jaguar would be able to best me on a battlefield?”

Katherine could see a man wearing a gray jumpsuit and neuro-helmet trimmed with red under a cooling vest with a large red star painted on it standing amid the wreck of a Fenris.  The Shadow Cat kneeled down on it's reverse jointed bird legs folding down on themselves and Katherine leapt down from the cockpit only barely breaking the fall into the spongy ground.  She ran and jumped into his arms, the impact of which knocked both of their neuro-helmets off, and kissed him hard. 

Vlad let her down and freed himself from her arms.  He was unphased at almost dying although looked mildly irritated at his downed Timber Wolf, “Hello Katherine.  It has been to long.”
Katherine managed to control her tears but it was an effort, her voice was still strained with emotion however, “Vlad you almost died!”
The remaining Lyran Mechs broke through on the other side of the clearing to secure the battlefield and establish a landing zone.  “I know but we won.”
Katherine slapped and kissed him, “Don't do it again!”
Vlad returned the kiss, although he did hold her arms to prevent another slap, “Noted.  Lets head back Katherine.  I think we are done for today.  The Falcons have some questions to answer before we continue.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 01 August 2018, 05:51:22
Man that guy has the luck of Victor Steiner-Davion.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 02 August 2018, 20:45:56
Man that guy has the luck of Victor Steiner-Davion.

Yeah he gets out of the cockpit before getting headshoted


05/03/3068 Location – Falcon's Eye, Hamarr, Sudeten

Loremasters Kael Pershaw of the Jade Falcons, Semi Kalasa of the Diamond Sharks, and Katherine of the Wolves were gathered in a dimly lit chamber deep within the Jade Falcon's main HQ.  Kael Pershaw was making himself quite comfortable in the familiar shadowed space and the other two Loremasters were relieved to no longer see the ghoulish cyborg under proper lighting.  His cybernetic eyes glowed softly like some monster in the shadows while Katherine and Semi both sat in their own pools of light around the holo-tank.  “It is good that you can join us today Loremaster Kalasa, fortunate that you were already in system.”

“Yes Loremaster Pershaw, it is regrettable that your Clan is at this point but I will remain neutral to aid this important trial.  Katherine would you like to begin?”

Katherine attempted to roll with the slight from the other Loremaster by the omission of the title she earned in blood.  She wanted to shout at the bitch but decided against it. The Diamond Sharks were easy to deal with when you have the largest bank account in the Inner Sphere.  “Very well Semi.”

“Two days ago, a pair of unregistered and unmarked Trinaries interfered with the honorable Trial of Absorption currently paused while we investigate to determine if there was a breach of honor on the part of the Falcons.”

“Or Wolves Katherine, Khan Pryde may respect Khan Ward but that does not mean she trusts him.”

Katherine's eyes narrowed at the slight, she just wanted to kill both of these pests and move on and maybe get another round in with Vlad before he went back to Jarho to win the Trial.  “Yet, the attacker identified himself as a Smoke Jaguar harvested by the Falcons.  A Commander Omar Wimmer.”

Semi spoke before Kael could respond, “Of course the BattleROMs containing that communication were all destroyed or lost in the battle and we only have Khan Ward's testimony as proof.  The Jade Falcon's master codex does not contain a harvested Jaguar named Omar Wimmer.”

Clan Law wasn't supposed to be this hard, Katherine was tempted to Grievance the interloping Shark woman but decided it would be just cause more trouble.  “I would like an independent analysis of the Falcon's master codex by my specialists.  Vladimir's testimony and our subsequent analysis of the satellites in orbit at the time both provide evidence that this hostile actor has a high level of sophistication with computer systems, and your security in these matters is lax in comparison to the Inner Sphere.  In fact the attackers had a high tech Electronic Warfare suite that is far superior to anything ever fielding by a Clan.”

Both of the Clanners were offended at the suggestion that the Inner Sphere was in any way superior to the Clans but Katherine could only see Semi's reaction and savored the moment.  From her own Watch and LIC assets she knew the Shark was cunning and distrustful of the Inner Sphere and fancied herself an exceptional spy-mistress but she was a rank amateur compared to Katherine's vast capability.  Semi recovered quickly, “and you know this how Loremaster?”

“One of the salvage teams recovered parts of Corvis Battlemech is decent enough condition to examine.  You know of the Watchdog CEWS?”  A diagram of the Watchdog CEWS as well as a sample of the data output directly from Katherine's BattleROM filled the holotank.

“Aff, experimental tech from a Jaguar lab on Huntress.  Unusual development for that Clan but they were allegedly developing it to deal with Combine insurgents.”

Kael spoke from the shadows, “I have heard much the same, it never made serial production before Huntress fell and the main scientists were trialed for by the Horses and Ravens.  A lot of Jaguar scientists went missing in the aftermath of the Star League's invasion now that I think about it.”

“Yes well I have a Watchdog installed in my Shadow Cat.  This Corvis' unit has similar technology to the Word of Blake's C3I units that attacked Tharkad several months ago in addition to the Clan tech EW components.  My ONI specialists are still attempting to discern the full extent of it's capabilities”

Both of the Loremasters looked astonished at the revelation, “Are you suggesting that there is a conspiracy within the Clans that is allied with this rogue faction?”

Katherine's face was a mask and her stare intense in the half-light, “I cannot verify that without additional investigation.  An investigation that would go faster if your Watches' cooperated.”

Semi Kalasa shifted forward, “I think you have it under control Wolf.  Our cooperation is not without cost and your Spheroid's invasion of Jade Falcon territory have proven quite disruptive to our own operations over the past several months.  Needless to say Khan Sennet is quite displeased with Vladimir and Marthe both.”

“I don't care about Barbara's concerns, I will honor the Diamond Shark's holdings on Twycross, far to much trouble to take it back.  Kael and I are quite capable of handling this operation without your assistance.”

“Very well Loremaster.  I shall take my leave then.  I am returning to Twycross and will confer with the Khan en route, perhaps she will change her mind based on the latest evidence you have collected.”
  With that the Shark departed and the room was secured again with a slight background hiss of white noise.

“Your latest evidence is very concerning Katherine, my Watch will get to the bottom of this dishonorable behavior on our capital world.  Watch yourself, I have lost a lot of operatives investigating strange happenings in our occupation zone though this clarifies some long held suspicions.”

“I am used to far more professional attempts on my life but I will not allow them a chance to strike again, my operatives will be on this investigation as well.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 03 August 2018, 08:55:38
In other words, "Someone Mess with my hubby, I will get medieval on you!"
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 06 August 2018, 22:17:24
05/05/3068 Location – Quixote Z Oppenheimer, above Vulture's Nest, Former Rim Worlds Republic

Three men were secured in freefall inside the industrial room, the steady hum of life on a Warship filled the room.  The holoprojector's emitters glowed faintly, illuminating each of their faces with a sickly green glow.  One of the men, heavy set with obvious Elemental ancestry and half of his face burned, spoke first his tone gravely.  “Etienne, we know the Jaguar failed to kill the Alpha Wolf.  Now his Bitch and Rustbucket will be out in force against us.”

Another man wearing a silvered environmental suit with a mirrored visor that reflected the corpulent man across from him.  In a synthesized voice he said, “Indeed Gregory.  Etienne, we need to move the mobile units and go dark again in order to evade their agents.  Already they are moving against us and the Hell's Horses are not yet ready to prevail against our foes.  It was foolish of you to use such obviously Horse mechs on Sudeten.  Better to stick with our more subtle ways to eliminate threats.”

The large man was remarkably restrained in his composure, “Gentlemen, we cannot remain in the shadows forever. Eventually we will have to come into the light in order to seize control of the Clans once and for all.  Our conspiracy is strong enough to prevail over our current threats however powerful their forces are they have a crucial weakness in that they are disjointed and work at alternate purposes. 

Though we should move the mobile units considering that is their purpose, but not away, we are moving forward with the plan. 

Captain Ivo, There are certain elements within the Spheroids that we can exploit.  My agents have confirmed no less than four distinct personages that would be eager to aid us just as we have manipulated Malavai
(Fletcher).  The Priestess, Archer, Heir, and Bear will have access to our intelligence and technology in exchange for their assistance. 

We can continue to be silent partners and our enemies will have to deal with the obvious threats allowing us ample time to maneuver to a better position as we have always done.  The conspiracy will unfortunately have to take a more active stance in the future.  We have had years of preparation for this moment and I intend to take full advantage of our opportunities.”

The suited man, Ivo, put his gloved hand to his chin, “You are telling me that we are going to manipulate the Spheroids as well?  This is a high risk endeavor Scientist-General, one that I will need to think upon in order to make the best decision for the organization.”

The burned man responded before Etienne could, “If it were up to you his entire endeavor would never exist.  I do however doubt the wisdom in giving the Spheroids access to our technologies and capabilities”

Etienne triggered the holo-projector to a series of schematics, “The Federated Commonwealth already manufactures it at a level we cannot match.  Katherine and Vladimir's cooperation has already escalated this arms race. The Word of Blake is building up the tech base in the Free Worlds League and Trinity Alliance according to open source intelligence from The Priestess.  The Diamond Sharks already sell to the Ghost Bears, Wolves in Exile, Nova Cats, and Draconis Combine for the right price.  We are already behind the power curve, this is just survival.  Speaking of such Gregory how goes the Hellstar program?”

A lumbering assault Battlemech's wire-frame appeared in the holoprojector behind which the burned man stood, “The program is proceeding as expected, it will win much Glory for the Hell's Horses and can nearly stand toe to toe with the Dire Wolf.  Two ERPPCs and a pair of Large Pulses Lasers, enough heat sinks to cycle them.  It will inspire fear in any foe. 

We have amble second line forces currently in inventory and Commander Wimmer's trainers continue their work bringing new freeborn crews online.”

“Ivo.  How goes the Protomech armament program?”

“The Hobgoblin and Sprite programs are coming along well.  The Pillar of Chrome (Carrack) is making twelve new units each week between each as well as plenty of smalls arms and iATM missiles.  Our agents on Csesztreng are ensuring that Centaurs, Gorgons, and Minotaurs unwittingly continue to fill our ranks.  Our only deficit is in the number of pilots we can train as refinements in the EI implantation have removed that particular bottleneck.”

“Perfect.  Everything according to plan.  Until we meet again.”

“Aff Scientist-General. Until next time.”

Two holograms dissipated into the air leaving only Etienne behind in the Destroyer.  He triggered the display screen which folded out from the ceiling and revealed the cage-works currently orbiting Vulture's Nest, it was refitting an ancient Pinto corvette (Z Winterberg) that the Blinding Eye recovered from a Rim World's Republic Naval Boneyard in the Deep Periphery.

05/07/3068 Location – Excalibur FCDS Vikenroy, Alyina, Somerset March

General Archer Christifori was sitting alone on the Vikenroy's Command Deck watching the sun dip below the horizon of Alyina.  The world he fought so hard to reclaim from the Jade Falcons.  Their saKhan had been forced to take his offer of Hegira and return to Sudeten where the Wolves were waging what would likely be the final battle of this long slog of a campaign. 

He opened the locket with his sister's picture in it to remind him of why he continued to fight.  What would she think of him now? A sad, broken man with only his desire for vengeance to drive him, a Revenant in charge of other Revenants, but it was all that he had left.  If he walked away he wasn't certain he could live with himself even if Katya wanted him to stop.

A message forwarded from the HPG appeared on his personal console containing an intelligence brief on the Jade Falcons and Wolves' deployments.  The anonymous sender had addressed it directly to him but provided a reply address and prompt.  “It has to be Heimdall.”

He typed out a reply and sent it back to the now COMSTAR administered HPG.

“We should talk. Name your time and place.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 07 August 2018, 11:38:29
04/17/3068 Location – Taurus Warworks, Taurus, Taurian Concordat

The badlands around the WarWorks factory were filled with activity, two rail spurs connected it with the rest of the Taurian capital world as well as the Industrial Starport 30 kilometers away.  Multiple interlocking lines of fixed weapons, bunkers, and battlements surrounded it in all directions.  It was a fortress protected by the most sophisticated defense network in the entire Concordat.  All to protect the brand new facility at its heart and with it a competitive edge that would bring the TDF into the 31st century.

A train pulled up to the station where a group of gray clad figures waited, the broadsword emblem of the Word of Blake Militia visible on their shoulder along with “XXII” underneath the Mauser 1200 rifles they carried.  Standing beside them were Taurian Infantry from vaulted II Corps of the TDF in their burgundy battledress uniforms, their black Pinard Pulse Laser rifles slung in front of them.  A white clad but darker skinned woman stood in front wearing a half-cape with a Precentor’s gold medallion hanging from her neck.

An elderly man still full of vigor walked off the train, his gray hair still full and steely blue eyes sharp.  The man was followed by a group of TDF officers and government ministers.  He shook the Precentor’s hand, “Precentor Mauve, this is an impressive facility.  I very much enjoyed the flyover and cannot wait to see inside now that it is operating normally.”

Anjelica Mauve bowed ever so slightly, “You will not be disappointed Protector Shraplen.  Your realm factors very heavily in the Word of Blake’s future.  We appreciate all the support you have given us during the Aurigan Troubles in light of your continued difficulties.  We will not turn aside such a powerful ally for the great struggle that soon awaits us.”

Protector Shraplen walked tall followed by his escort of WOBM and TDF soldiers down the newly paved footpath from the station, “The battle to reclaim the honor of the Concordat against the Federated Commonwealth.  No longer will we be forced to scrape by, always living in fear of New Avalon and their covetous Princes.”

Anjelica followed perfectly matching the larger man’s stride with her own, “It is destined to be a battle for the Eons. Our allies are numerous and the enemy’s ambitions grow ever more with each passing year but the Will of Blake will prevail as it has for centuries. 

The raids that have harried your border worlds will be stopped once and for all; and the Pleiadesians will once again be reunited with their Taurian brothers for the first time in centuries.  It will be grand and you will go down in history as the man who finally defeated the Davions.  We will of course have to act swiftly to accomplish this.  Already ROM tells us they have built up forces in anticipation.  Which means they are afraid.”

“They should be Precentor. The TDF will crush the Grand Duchess’s forces and she will have to call upon her cousin while Sun-Tzu attacks his March.  They will melt before our onslaught.”

“Indeed you have studied the plan we have crafted quite thoroughly Grover.  A testament to your leadership ability.  The Primus was right in trusting you to take point in this operation.”

“What of Baron Kithrong and the boy?  They have proven a needless distraction during this important time.”

The Precentor stopped a moment and everyone else followed, “Don’t worry about the Magestrix’s puppet Protector.  The Twenty-Second will ensure that his treasonous succession will be as short lived as he.  The Will of Blake will be done.”  The Militia repeated the last sentence in a low hum. 

The group continued up to the factory itself entering into a Spartan receiving area and utilizing a smooth industrial cargo elevator to get above the assembly room floor where workers were assembling Battlemechs piece by piece.  There were two distinct types on the floor right now, a smaller unit with a breastplate containing seven missile tubes and an arm carrying a PPC.  The other was a larger unit, more humanoid in appearance with a very similar layout.

Grover Shraplen and ministers looked in awe as the machines moved across the various assembly points in perfect harmony, “How did your order recover the original plans to the Toro Precentor?”

“I cannot give away any relevant details but the Order has a long history of acquiring technology that dates to before the Reunification War.  We likely found it in an old databank in our Archives, I hope you find the modifications we made satisfactory. 

We made some changes based on the latest Panther models built by Luthien Armor Works as well as advances the order has made in the previous centuries.  It lost some missile tubes along the way but the new MML seven with Artemis four system is quite versatile.  I believe the TDF will be perfectly happy with its capabilities.  There are two models, one carries a PPC capacitor while the other has an Artemis module.”

Grover looked towards her and nodded, “Very generous of you to share these cutting edge technologies with us Precentor and to help us establish a new factory capable of supplying the TDF with the capabilities to combat the AFFC.”

Anjelica bowed ever so gracefully again, “Think nothing of it.  Your industries have long languished under COMSTAR’s callous reign even though your realm was on the edge of destruction.  The Word of Blake is far more generous a benefactor. 

You have given us the rights to every HPG in the territories allowing us to spread the Message, and generously aided the Aurigan Coalition.  The Coalition is rapidly becoming something of a Blakist Protectorate and we are good neighbors to have.  We are honored that you have granted us everything we desire.”

Grove Shraplen looked at the larger of two Battlemechs being built and pointed it out, “Tell me of this new design that the Order designed with the support of Vandenberg?”

Anjelica produced a small holo-display from her robes, a grainy wireframe picture of a Battlemech filled the display.  “I had hoped the full test results would meet you while you were in transit but I will provide you with the highpoints of what we call the Brahma. 

The order has developed a PPC that hits as hard as the Clan Tech version but is much simpler to manufacture.  It is slightly heavier but the capabilities are worth the extra weight and expense, that weapon is located in the right arm.  We are currently importing them from Gibson but the tooling is currently being set up to manufacture it and the MML Seven as well as Artemis modules and PPC capacitors on Sterope.  That will of course allow you complete self-sufficiency to defend yourselves.

Much like the Toro it comes with an MML seven with Artemis four though the Brahma has more ammunition than the lighter mech. That firing module can be switched out with a capacitor for the PPC that allows it to hit with the strength of a Kali Yama Big Bore, at half a kilometer, every twenty seconds. 

This design incorporates the latest advances in the Combine’s Grand Dragon as well, but unlike that Battlemech this one also has the capability to jump ninety meters.  It is the most high tech weapon system manufactured by any Periphery state and it is but a small taste of what the Word of Blake can continue to offer the Concordat as a partner.”

Protector Shraplen extended his hand to woman again as he watched the sparks fly from the fabrication area of the WarWorks factory, “I look forward to our continued partnership Precentor.”

She took his hand with both of hers, one of which was an obvious white polymer prosthetic but moved as smooth as any organic hand. “As do I Protector.  I look forward to our impending victory and will toast your success on New Avalon.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 08 August 2018, 09:48:23
07/11/3068 Location – CJW Turkina’s Pride, Somewhere in the Dark Nebula

Khan Marthe Pryde and Khan Vladimir Ward stood next to one another on the command deck of the Dire Wolf.  The Falcon Khan’s Jade Wolf emblem a bright jade green against the fitted black jumpsuit she wore. The Trial of Absorption was hard fought but Vladimir Ward’s Golden Keshik defeated her Turkina Keshik on Sudeten but they were allowed to split out again as Jade Wolf.  Their rivalries set aside at least briefly to accomplish the real goal of REVIVAL, taking Terra.

Khan Ward closely monitored the sensor readout but only static from the dust cloud the Pride was currently traveling through was on the scopes. 

He was still reliving the campaign all the way to Sudeten and his thirst for vengeance against the Falcons was sated. Now it was time to focus on bigger things, rebuilding so the Clans could take Terra from the Word of Blake.  The Jade Wolves’ losses were steep but now that they were no longer fighting his Wolves or most of the Lyrans anymore (or shouldn’t be) their Merchants were already replacing losses from the reserve Mechs put aside by their former enemies.  “So where in this mess is the Falcon’s Fleet Marthe?  Less than a third of the vessels known were present during this campaign.”

“Patience Vladimir.  You have to wait until we clear this gas cloud for your answer.”

Vladimir waited until they finished the transit, then the sensor readouts cleared on a rotating planetoid.  A man’s voice came in on the line, “This is Star Commodore Jarrod Littleton aboard the CJF Frost Falcon.  Confirm your beacon change Turkina’s Pride.  There is no Clan Jade Wolf.”

Marthe confirmed the beacon change to the disappointed Star Commodore who regrettably changed his beacon ID as well. The remaining Falcon Warships (not those disabled by the BLACK MAGIC virus and recovered by Commonwealth forces or currently guarding the Falcon’s Roost Cage-works) were gathered around a rocky planetoid just barely big enough to be made spherical by gravity except five (The Talons).  Only one of which was active if barely, the Aegis Frost Falcon.  Each vessel had vicious battle scars running the length and breadth of their hulls the result of some massive orbital battle.  They were months, maybe years away from being battle ready again.  Vladimir Ward looked at the horrific damage from the visual sensors, “What happened?”

Marthe turned around and queued up the accelerated BattleROM from the Naval Battle of Xian in the Marshall System, a Battle Line of Jade Falcon and Snow Raven Warships fired toward the gargantuan battleship and its escort group.  They responded with their blistering broadsides annihilated multiple Warship with each volley on both sides.  Finally the Battleship was brought down ultimately fated to fall into the Saturn sized Gas Giant along with a vast cloud of debris, its escorts and the survivors of the defending force were savaged during the battle and just barely managed to break orbit and limp away.

“The Snakes happened Vladimir. The Steel Vipers had a massive Battleship built in secret and they along with the Cobras and Adders attacked the Sharks, Falcons, and Ravens to take our Homeworld enclaves. 

We managed to get out of the Homeworlds leaving them little but all of our home world enclaves fell as did those of the Sharks and Ravens.  The Sharks have taken up residence in the Chainlaines as you know but I do not know what happened to the Ravens.  We only received a few more messages from Lum before they stopped transmitting. 

We are all abjured now according to ilKhan Brett Andrew’s parting message and any remaining Abtakha from our Clans in the Homeworlds are in line for a Reaving because they are ‘Tainted’.  Not that that means much here in the Inner Sphere.  So far from Strana Mechdy, we are strong enough to resist a renewed assault by our wayward brethren.  The ilKhan can come and fight us if he so desires. In fact I hope he does.”

“That man is insane.”

Marthe hit a button which returned the monitor to its original Jade Wolf background, “Indeed Khan Ward.  The Wolves and Hell’s Horses managed to get out just in time.  Most of the Falcons too were already along the Exodus Road to Sudeten by the time he made his move. 

It will get very ugly back home for a while.  I would love to take part in the epic battles but I have plenty of those to fight here as well. 

By the time they sort themselves out we shall have taken Terra. 

Then we can take Strana Mechty back”

“Kerensky’s Vision was for us to take Terra and leave the Homeworlds behind.  It seems they have left us behind and call us the tainted ones for following the words of The Great Father.  We do not need to return.  We will have no need to ever return.  Now we are spurred forward with no path but the one before us Khan Pryde.”

Each Khan said in unison, “Seyla”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 09 August 2018, 19:12:56
Future Events in 3068
05/15 Star Colonel Diana Pryde's Falcon Guards and Loremaster Kael Pershaw begin investigating the unknown forces with the assistance of LIC TASK FORCE:OBSIDIAN and ONI's Void 16.

05/28 The Nova Cats rescue General Photon Brett-Marik's Star League Expeditionary Force and provide them sufficient transport for their depleted numbers aboard Nova Cat Merchant Vessels the Civil War and Ghost Bear Campaign slow their transit however.

06/01 Hell's Horses Khan Malavai Fletcher spearheads Trials of Possession for planets in the Coreward portion of the Ghost Bear Dominion (Susquehanna, Holmsbu, Pinnacle, Damian, Santander V, and Porthos). 

06/03 Wolf saKhan Marielle Raddick launches Trials for Last Frontier, Radlje, Vipaava, Pomme de Terre, Predlitz however the Ghost Bears were ready (informed by the Blinding Eye) for the attacks repulsing their rivals and countering with Trials aimed at reclaiming former Free Rasalhague Republic worlds currently occupied by Wolves and Horses.

06/08 Blinding Eye units using Horse colors begin to engage their Wolf “allies” in a coordinated assault against units isolated and beaten down by the Bear's counterattacks.  Wolf SaKhan Marielle Raddick reduces the tempo against the Bears and attacks 'dezgra' Hell's Horse units with abandon much to their confusion.

06/16 Black Dragon Forces centered around Tai-Sa Yamai Shigami's Ryuken-Yon, (bolstered by 3 Benjamin Regular Regiments and the 7th Amphigean Light Assault Group) attack the Ghost Bear Dominion taking unexpected advantage of the confusion.

06/18 Hohiro and Theodore Kurita are put in the “protective custody” of the Word of Blake's Opacus Venatori.  The Nova Cats unaware of Hohiro's disappearance nor Theodore's condition, assume he has gone to ground to escape the Black Dragons. Nova Cat Loremaster Minoru Nova Cat begins searching for his missing family.  The Combine is currently without a Coordinator as Regional Warlords assert their dominance.

06/22 Margrave Adam Steiner surrenders the mantle of General of the Armies to Reinhardt Steiner, marries Colonel Rachel Specter who also retires, and puts himself to the task of administering the reincorporation of the Falcon's OZ into the Commonwealth from his home planet.  The 14th Donegal Guards formally become the 1st Somerset Strikers and their number and colors are retired from the Guards Corps with honors.

06/28 The Mjolrnir FCWS Valhalla is cracked open around Tharkad's moon Marsden by the Clan Newgrange Yardship WIS Den Mother in order to repair the damaged KF drive.  The Tharkad FCWS Invincible is once more operational this time in the hands of the Federation Fleet.

07/07 Black Dragon subverted DCMS units increase the number of raids on Federated Commonwealth border worlds provoking raids in kind that force Loyalist units to respond to Commonwealth counterattacks.

07/11 Jade (Marik) is born to Isis Marik on Crofton.  Kitsune now has a little sister.

07/20 Franklin Sakamoto is rescued from the Black Dragons by loyal Yakuza. Luthien is still in lock down so he cannot leave but joins with the guerrillas to resist the Black Dragons. (story to follow)

08/01 Portions of TASK FORCE:AVENGER launch a coup attempt against Katherine on Weingarten under the command of Archer Christifori (story to follow).

08/03 Protector Grover Shraplen's Junta and the WOB's 22nd Division assault the Calderon Protectorate but fail to oust Baron Cham Kithrong and his ward Erik Martens-Calderon.  Nevertheless the Protectorate is isolated, relying heavily on Mercenaries and outside assistance from the Magistracy of Canopus to survive the assault. 

The initial field tests of the Brahma and redesigned Toro go extremely well and a new factory on Jamestown is approved to be built by the Concordat with assistance from the Word of Blake.

08/09 Shou (Sakamoto) is born on Oshika in the Draconis Combine to Mara Selencia. The boy is to be raised in a monastery until he is old enough to be useful to the Black Dragons.

08/14 The Zodiac Cruiser FCWS Ophiuchus is launched from Challenge Systems' Traussin Yard, it reports to it's duty station around Panpour and the newly christened 15th Outback Legion Panpour “Phalanx” is based inside.

08/29 The Vincent Mk 45 corvette TCS Vandenberg launches from the Concordat Cageworks orbiting Regis' Roost restored by the Word of Blake.  It joins the Quixote TCS Vendetta in the Taurian Fleet and reports to it's station around Taurus.

09/01 The Battle of Weingarten ends with the Wolf's Tau and Zeta Galaxies mauled by the 10th and  3rd Lyran Guards.

09/08 General Brett-Marik's Star League Expeditionary Force returns to the Free Worlds League.

09/17 Kael Pershaw and the Falcon Guards uncover enough leads to launch an assault on Etienne's Sanctuary.  The assault is costly and time consuming but eventually the Falcons and LIC forces kill the Scientist-General and uncover evidence of his activities.  (story to follow)

10/11 The Ghost Bear Dominion recaptures the Free Rasalhague Republic worlds despite the Wolves and Horse's best efforts.  Both of the formerly allied Clans continue to skirmish among one another each exchange becoming more vicious despite Khan Ward, Khan Pryde, and Loremaster Katherine's best efforts.

10/17 Khan Malavai Fletcher is killed in a duel by his saKhan James Cobb. The Horse's Bloodnamed make him the new Khan of the Hell's Horses and he manages to negotiate a cessation of hostilities between the Clans as the Falcon Guards uncover files detailing the Blinding Eye's trickery.  The subverted units are purged from the Horse's touman which greatly weakens them but Khan Cobb restores the honor of his Clan in the process.

11/11 HPGs throughout the Inner Sphere begin to malfunction affected by some kind of unknown sabotage (story to follow)

11/17 Hellions begin heavy raids against Outback Worlds in the Woodbine, Anjin Muerto, and Kilbourne PDZs.  Outback Legions and Marshals fight valiantly but are out-matched by their superior Clan technology. (story to follow)

11/25 An alleged TMI operative attempts to assassinate Grand Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion, the 1st Outback Legion's CO Richard Bole takes the bullet instead before her Federation Marshal bodyguards gun the man down. (story to follow)

11/27 The TDF assault the Federated Suns' Taygeta, Firgrove, and Islamabad PDZs, CCAF Forces and WOB Shadow Divisions and Militia assault Capellan and Terran March worlds. (story to follow)

FWLM forces, WOBM, and the Circinus Federation's Black Warriors launch attacks against the Bolan and Alarion Theaters of the Lyran Commonwealth. 

The AFFC holds the line and begins to launch attacks of their own against the Free Worlds League, calling in the forces still in transit from Jade Falcon space for assistance.

12/07 MHAF Forces attack the Magistracy of Canopus, Niops Association, and Free Worlds League.

12/12 The WOBS Blake's Sword is released from “The Ruins of Gabriel” shipyard, meaner then ever after a year of refits and repairs.

12/18 The Outback Legions are on full alert moving to repulse the TDF and Hellions' forces attacking the Periphery March.  The AFFC and TRG are engaged on multiple fronts against CCAF, TDF, FWLM, DCMS, and WOBM and with the HPG system down neither attackers nor defenders are coordinated. (story to follow)
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 11 August 2018, 02:14:18
Wow- that's a heck of a lot of interesting stories coming
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 23 August 2018, 08:12:45
08/01/3068 12:47 Location – Sonnebrunnen, Weingarten, Wolf Empire

The coastal resort town of Sonnebrunnen was vibrant today bright sunshine, warm temperatures, and no clouds brought out the best in the residents and their visitors, the Wolf Clan’s Tau and Zeta galaxies, housed along the Blau Kuste’s alabaster beaches and clear sapphire blue ocean water. 

Katherine was reclining on a chair eyes closed under the shade of a broad hat her tanned skin only covered by an untied bikini.  Her hair had reverted back to its normal state of curly gold from the ash blonde of New Year.  Alaric and Seigfried were playing with Morgan and others, enjoying a brief vacation with their mother.  Katherine was content to listen and pretend to be just another woman on the beach only responsible for her children rather than the Archon-Princess and Wolf Loremaster, tasked with the welfare of a widespread empire. 

Lifting her head to take another drink from the chilled Sangria next to her she looked on at her children and watched them just be kids wishing their father was here to experience this with her. 

She felt bad for him, for all of the Trueborn Clan Warriors, put through a system where all they would knew was war.  Boarding school was unpleasant for her but it was nothing like the Homeworld’s sibkos with death always a possibility.  The training in the Inner Sphere was significantly less extreme but she was still haunted by her time in the freeborn sibko on Tamar.  Even though she should have returned to the Wolf Empire’s capital while the Khan and saKhan were both deployed she hated the planet and avoided it unless Vlad was on it, then it was at least tolerable.

For ten years now Katherine had tried to deprogram her husband for his own good but it was grueling work.  He at times resented it as it cut him deep to his foundational beliefs the two of them had multiple fights about it but they always returned to one another in the end.  Time away from the Homeworlds had mellowed out most of the Clan Warriors but they were still fierce and impatient to continue what they interpreted as Kerensky’s vision, for Vlad that was taking Terra for the Clans.

A distinct whine woke her from daydreaming, an Anhur transport coming in over the bluff.  The four ducted turbofans rotated vertical for the vehicle to come in for a soft landing sixty meters behind the beachgoers.  The white sand formed a momentary sandstorm until the pilot powered the fans down to their neutral speed.  All of the Wolves were up and running towards the transport to hear why they were ruining their R&R.

Katherine retied her bikini and stood in the fore as the side door opened to another collection of Wolves.  The Wolf Logistics Crew Chief stepped out, his gray and red uniform distinctly mismatched amongst his cargo’s beach attire.  “They said you would be here.”

“What is it Chief?”
“Weingarten is under attack Loremaster.”

The crowd looked at one another with varying degrees of confusion. This planet was well behind the lines and the Hell’s Horse and Ghost Bears were contained and known enemies that would have been engaged above.

“By whom?”
“Lyran Guards.  The garrison is keeping them contained for now but they need help.”

Katherine was shocked into silence for a moment at that, “Which Lyran Guards?”
“Elements from the Third and Tenth dropped in twenty minutes ago.  We need to go Loremaster, you can be briefed mid-flight.”

She looked back at her kids, Morgan looked concerned while the boys were confident.  “What about the others?”
“Trucks will be here shortly to pick up the civilians.”

Katherine’s shoulders slumped, another vacation ruined by traitors, “Fine, give me a minute”
The Crew Chief nodded and shouted out to the rest of the crowd who lined up and boarded the VTOL hanging on to the straps in the middle after the seats were occupied.  Katherine walked over to her children.  Morgan started and hugged her, “Mommy what is going on? Are we in danger?”
“Everything will be fine Morgan, I have to go and stop some bad people.”
“Please be safe.”
“I don’t want you to worry just do what Lisa asks you to do.  Mommy will be fine.”

The boys raised in the Wolf Empire were far less concerned but still welcomed hugs from their GeneMother, “Go and show them why you are a Wolf Mom.”
“Take care of your sister boys.  I will be back soon.”

Katherine heard the boys talking behind her as she walked away, “Sieg I cannot wait till I have a mech of my own.  I am going to be the best.”
“Not if I beat you bro.”
“You can’t even beat me at kickball.
” And smiled

Ghilly Ridge, 72 kilometers West of Neuberlin, three hours later

The battlefield was badlands consisting of many broken hills interspersed with woodlands that had been recently burned in a wildfire at the beginning of summer.  Deep ridges cut through the plateau, the result of an ancient river that had once run through the terrain.

Remnants of the Weingarten Garrison Cluster withdrew into the ranks of the Wolf Clan’s depleted but very irritated Tau and Zeta Galaxies.  At the fore was Archon-Princess/Loremaster Katherine in her Barghest along with her White Keshik.  Before them was several combined-arms battalions in SLDF olive drab marked with a distinctive red “A2” visible on their cowlings.  A Penetrator jumped into the lead and faced down the gathering Wolf pack.  It shifted, aiming particularly at her.

“Is that you Katherine?”

Katherine shifted in her cockpit the voice was familiar but it still took her a moment to place it.  She remembered it from her brother’s funeral and hadn’t heard it again until now.  Suddenly everything snapped into place.  “General Christifori?”

“So you do remember me.  Then you know why I’m here.”
“I had assumed it is to kill me regardless of who it was in command.”
“Yes but why?”
“Because you are a covetous fool and want the Throne to go to someone you prefer.”
“You are a traitor to the Federated Commonwealth and a disgrace to its thrones. Your actions resulted in the death of my only remaining family and so many others.  Thus I intend to bring you the judgement you so deserve."
“I think you will find that this Wolf will not roll over quite so easily General."
"I'm was hoping you would say that."
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 23 August 2018, 09:47:44
This going to be messy, General Christifori is no fool. At least not during the canon universe.

I don't think he will win, but it will be interesting fight.

This Katherine is very different from Katrina Steiner-Davion from canon universe for sure.  ;D
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 24 August 2018, 06:29:44
3rd and 10th... I expected the 10th but not the 3rd.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 24 August 2018, 10:36:40
3rd and 10th... I expected the 10th but not the 3rd.

They were deployed together when fighting the Jade Falcons so Archer "compromised" some of the 3rd's personnel as well.  Large portions of the Tenth returned to Tharkad with Reinhardt as well.

Speaking of which

08/05/3068 14:18 Location – Royal Palace, Tharkad, Federated Commonwealth

General of the Armies Reinhardt Steiner sat amongst a group of Senior Ministers and High Command of the LCAF.  With Katherine currently off-world he was the highest authority in the Lyran portion of the Federated Commonwealth thus he had to deal with everyone’s problems, and there were a lot of problems this month.  After being elevated to General of the Armies and arriving in Tharkad a month ago he had been overwhelmed with the workload but was developing systems to get it done.

“Obersh Vikil, what of the Arc-Royal situation?”

The Colonel, a senior Mercenary Liaison had been tasked with dealing with the rebellious Kell Hounds and their Exiled Wolves.  It was a thankless assignment and it had worn on him for nearly two years while he tried to bring the storied Mercenary unit and their ‘Defense Cordon’ back into the Commonwealth. 

“Same as before unfortunately, most of the Defense Cordon has been returned to the Commonwealth’s authority with the vanquishing of the Jade Falcons.”

The Colonel looked toward Reinhardt, the victor of the Battle of Alyina that saw the Jade Falcon’s saKhan accept Hegira in order to save her forces.  “There are some holdouts however that still remain loyal to Grand Duke Kell and will not accept the sovereignty of the Archon-Princess.  I will continue my mission to convince them but it will be difficult.”

“Well we unfortunately can’t please everyone Colonel, keep up the good work the last thing the Federated Commonwealth needs is another round of civil war.”
“Agreed sir, I pray we can remain non-confrontational.  The Estates General has decided to send another emissary to Arc-Royal to convince Morgan to return.”
“He’s a stubborn old hound.  I don’t think Phelen or he will be convinced but perhaps this emissary can find some common ground.  Have you heard anything from Outreach yet?”

“I have unfortunately.  The Third Republican (Guard) and Third Fleet sent an expedition there three weeks ago.  Harlech and the Recharge Stations suffered serious damage. Honestly the report says it looks like there was a free for all with NBC weapons sometime earlier in the year.  They are awaiting special equipment from Tikonov before investigating further but there is no sign of the Dragoons nor their Warships intact or otherwise.”

“Word of Blake?”
“Unknown sir.  We know what happened to civilian traffic in the system too and it isn’t pretty.  Something was waiting in ambush until recently, the latest wreck was two weeks old when the expedition arrived.”
“I don’t like unknowns. When did this report come out?”
“A week ago, the TRG and Third Fleet have been busy dealing with terrorists as well as DCMS and CCAF raids and naval incursions.  They were unable to spare a warship to investigate until the Zodiac Cancer could be moved into position from the Capellan March.  Tikonov remains at DEFCON Three ARCLIGHT Ready.”
“Well that’s why they have a Senior General.  Alright Gentlemen we are going down the line.  This revelation is shocking but so were the attacks on the Capitals, I want the Commonwealth secured against further aggression.  We have eliminated one enemy but others gather outside the gates.”

The Thirteen High Command Staff and Seven Intelligence Directorate Chiefs worked their way down the line, the FWLN is gathering at the border to the Bolan and Alarion provinces, the DCMS is engaging in rapid fire strikes across the Freedom Theater and into the Isle of Skye.  Circinus pirate raids were increasing and going deeper aimed at more strategic targets well beyond where they normally struck.  Terrorist activity and sabotage increased in the Donegal and Coventry provinces, the perpetrators of which were unknown but who were armed with very delicate intelligence.

Reinhardt was overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of the problems that were affecting just his area of responsibility and wanted Katherine to get back as quickly as possible.  Being the Archon was far more difficult than he had anticipated and he didn’t even have the title.  The meeting resolved and everyone was dismissed to carry out their duties elsewhere. 

General Steiner walked back to his suite but heard the sound of three sets of boots behind him even through the plush carpet that lined the marble hallways.  He turned around and was face to face with a trio of Katherine’s Alptraum commandos identified by their distinctively styled black uniforms and triple moon unit insignia. He had heard about them but not seen them yet.  The group had acquired a boogeyman like reputation and multiple names (Alpteaum itself being merely a nickname with Hexenjager being slightly less popular) in his immediate circle of acquaintances.  They must have used some of the hidden passages that were rumored to weave throughout the palace. 

The Leader stopped and his subordinates followed suit, each was armed while Reinhardt was not.  “General, come with us.”
“Can I help you?”
“I didn’t say please General but if it speeds this up, I will ask again politely.  We need you to please come with us.”
“You have many questions and so do we.  I will not ask again.”

Reinhardt listened while the men remained dead calm awaiting his response.  The two in the back calmly closing their leather gloved hands around their sidearms.  There was no one around that could help him get out of this.  “Very well.  I can answer your questions.”

The two in the back removed their hands from the pistols, “Thank you General.  I hope you can do so to our satisfaction for our sake,” the Leader went up and pressed his gloved hand against Reinhardt’s back removing a concealed pistol in the process, “and yours.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 24 August 2018, 10:53:46
Reinhardt sounds like he may have interesting moment soon.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 24 August 2018, 12:32:23
07/20/3068 04:17 Location – O5P Black Site, Nagoya Island, Luthien

Franklin Sakamoto sleep in crouch within a suspended tiger cage located in bamboo patch with only minimal clothing to protect him from Luthien's spring rains and the chill.  He could smell the smoke from the concentration camp downhill but it was not the worse situation he could imagine himself in.  There were others that were in far worse circumstances at the bottom of the hill.  His captors at least fed and watered him regularly.  The last seven months of captivity had stripped him of his once proud physique and nearly fifteen kilos but not his spirit.  He couldn’t betray his nephew’s secret because he literally didn’t know where he was but prayed that he remained safe.

A disturbance caught his attention, he couldn't see anything but something was off.  He heard a scream from below and watched the path that his captor's took to access his hillside.  Someone was coming quickly and as he cleared the final curve collapsed falling forward into the brush, his rifle lost to the brush.  Two masked and armed men walked cautiously through the bush, another man took up position at the path.  Eventually their tattoos and darker skin became visible and Franklin relaxed, the pair shined a low powered red light, “Tai-Sa Sakamoto?”


“Two hundred first Pesht Recon.  Tai-I Jorimo, we didn't know you were here but bless the fortunes you are mostly unharmed.  I know you can't stand back but close your eyes a moment.”

The Tai-I produced a set of bolt cutters and snipped the chain that held his cage closed with a bit of effort.  The lock fell softly into the leaf litter and the other man helped Franklin to the jungle floor.  The feeling of solid ground was refreshing although it took him a moment to recover his equilibrium on the uneven jungle floor after being in a crouch for several weeks.  He rubbed his legs accepting the arm of one of his rescuers for balance and eventually the other DCMS soldiers arrived and fanned out to recover the rest of the living POWs and collect the dead.

Franklin was physically weak but his spirit was unbowed as the POWs were gathered and put on old military wheeled transports.  The old 8x8 truck looked seemed to date to the 3000s but its engine was still working and even though there was an abundance of rust it was the best looking vehicle he had ever seen.  A squad of troopers took up positions near the rear ramp of the unarmored vehicle to provide protection for the prisoners.

The old biodiesel belched black smoke as the driver put it into gear and headed down the rutted road from the jungle mountain where he had spent the last three months.  The convoy escorted by a company of battered Battlemechs survivors of the initial surprise attack by the Black Dragons.  A strike force of hostiles appeared from the hills nearby attempting to stop the evacuation and the loyalists stopped, changing direction to intercept.

Franklin knew roughly where he was by looking at the stars and thus what was nearby.  He was relieved that they were heading for the small Seiyo Sea port town of Hiyo-Fujimori rather than the city of Nishio.  When the battle was engaged he looked up and saw a squad of Inseki fighters drop their bombs on the enemy.  The reverberation could be felt in the truck and the hostiles broke contact leaving the engagement zone.  Throughout the truck the men and women cheered for their allies and the rest of the ride was uneventful, the prisoners covered on the ground by Battlemechs and in the air by fighters.

The small port town of Hiyo-Fujimori was buzzing with activity, the town had been mostly abandoned when the fishery was depleted but the port facilities remaining.  Everyone was cross-checked by DCMS troops from the Hanko (Rebellion) to ensure there were no plants.  Franklin came face to face with an old friend, Shin Yodama of the Izanagi Warriors.  The Yakuza embraced Franklin with his tattooed sleeves, “Thank the fortunes you are alive Sakamoto-san.  I was concerned when you didn’t appear during the initial ambush that they might have already gotten you.”

“What happened to Griffon and the others?”
“Many of them are dead.  It took three Black Dragons at the same time to bring down Meshune-san's Hatamoto-Chi however.  He died honorably and allowed more of us to escape to carry on the fight. 

The Izanagi Warriors and others took heavy casualties but we managed to escape the city and continue to resist the Black Dragons on world.  We cannot get an HPG off-planet and have received no word on the condition of your father and brothers.”

“So we are isolated and surrounded by enemies Yodama-San”
“Hai, Sakamoto-san.  Engaged in a battle for The Heart and Soul of the Dragon against the forces of Darkness.  Oddly romantic.  What an age to live in.”
“So how are we getting off this island?”
“Just follow me.”

Shin Yodama and the rest of the loyalists escorted the prisoners to the docks, two large barges were tid up to the docks awaiting the Battlemechs and four Baleena submarines were anchored just offshore with four rubber tender craft on the beach.  Each of the small boats carried eight passengers into the submersibles before returning to pick up another batch.  Franklin watched the evacuation with interest, “You captured the Miyomoto (Kurita)?”

“Hai,  I will have to show you the tapes.  Perhaps the biggest theft in all of the Yakuza's proud history.  Not just anyone can steal a Lysander right off the docks of Tokoname under the Black Dragon's watchful eyes.  I will attempt to be humble about it however, everything I do is to better serve the Dragon.”

Franklin looked back at the man in surprise, “I should very much like to see the tapes but first I would like to get back into the fight.”

“It pleases me greatly to see that even though your body is in no condition to fight your spirit is still strong Sakamoto-san.  I look forward to fighting alongside you.”

Tai-Sa Franklin Sakamoto watched the morning sun work over the ocean as he departed aboard the last tender boat heading to the Lysander submersible carrier.  Inside which was the Heart of the White Dragons and meditated in the midst of the submarines constant buzz of activity.  They could win, if his father's legacy was to be honored they would need to but the odds were long but the Kurita spirit within him was strong.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 25 August 2018, 02:45:22
Revenge shall be had!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 27 August 2018, 09:48:34
08/11/3068 18:41 Location –Southern Sector, McCullen Military Reservation, Weingarten, Wolf Empire

Katherine Wolf was peering through binoculars past a blind positioned on a limestone ridgeline looking over McCullen Military Reservation.  A heavy summer rainstorm had greeted the Wolves upon their arrival yesterday concealing them from aerial surveillance.  Streams of rain flowed across the rocky highlands and into the Black Diamond River below threatening to overflow its banks.  The rain had made this area treacherous as did the vast forest that climbed the mountains and filled the valley.

She was actually hoping for the river to flood and slow the Lyran Guards down.  Most of their lightning companies had already been dealt with leaving only the plodding Steiner assaults against her swifter Wolves.  The Wolves had been pushed out of Neuberlin and the settled areas of Weingarten by General Archer Christifori’s implacable Lyran Guards. 

This area was the Wolves fall back location, an area predominately used as a training ground and thus well known to the local Garrison Cluster.  The past four days had been a constant fighting withdraw from Neuberlin which had suffered for a week under a brutal artillery bombardment. 

Katherine put the binoculars down and pulled her hand through a tangled mop of blonde hair, “How did Victor do this for months on end?  Even Tamar wasn’t this bad.
 At least I could take a shower”
  She took a sip from her canteen before the field telephone beeped. “Come back in Loremaster. We have sensor contacts.  Fifteen klicks to the Northwest.”

“Aff Star Captain, coming in now” She got up putting the binoculars into their pouch and capping her canteen before walking back under the concealed trail.  Katherine cleared the small wood and earth barricade behind which a group of garrison troopers were manning machine guns.  Their uniforms perfectly engineered for this kind of terrain unlike the gray jumpsuit that Katherine wore over her Mechwarrior outfit to keep the chill at bay which had been borrowed from a Technician and was ill-fitting so unlike almost all of her other clothes.

Working her way back slightly she entered the small bunker cut into the rock one of the many fieldworks built over the centuries of occupation by the planetary garrison first to protect against the Draconis Combine, then the Wolves, and now finally the rebellious Lyrans.  The sturdy door was one of the three entrances to the caverns below.  Star Captain Lorenzo Wolf met her at the base of the stairs that spiraled into the rock below.

“Are they heading in this direction Lorenzo?”
“Neg Katherine, they are following the valley.  Possibly heading across the river to the Northern Sector and making a mess of the forest along the way.  Rain washed away most of our tracks from yesterday.  I confirmed it with the scouts.  They likely know we are here somewhere though.  The swollen river has washed away the bridge downstream so only the Upper Viaduct and Juliet’s Ford are still passable to reach the other sectors.”
“How many are there?”
“A heavy assault Binary”
“They will be slowed down by this terrain and make little progress.  How many did the OP say were inbound?”
“Nearly three Trinaries.”
“Outnumbered and outgunned but we have the terrain advantage for now.  Let them pass but forward the report to Candice.  I want them to get as far into the Reservation as possible before we strike.”
“Aff Loremaster.”

The Star Captain left to return to the portable sensor console located in their makeshift command center, consisting of four Wolves sitting on old ammo boxes and their Noteputers alongside a communications set and the sensor node all placed on crates.  Katherine walked over to the Tech Bay and saw her remaining eight mechs and four vehicles. 

Her own Barghest was currently under the gantry having sustained significant armor damage in the flight from Neuberlin at the hands of Archer’s lightning companies.  Currently an Elemental Laborer was lifting the 250 Kg slugs for her Heavy Gauss rifle onto the racks that were extended from the canid mech’s legs.  The techs were just finishing up the armor patch marring the once beautiful lines with a hodgepodge of differently colored plates. These plates were enough to break the machine’s silhouette up making it much more concealable.

“I don’t like the color but I’ll make do for now.”

08/13/3068 Lyran Guards Command Post

General Archer Christifori, Colonel Katya Chaffee, and Colonel Penny Harsant of the 31st Lyran Force Recon looked over the recent survey maps inside the Command Van.  “This is a bloody tangle Colonels.”

“Yes sir, I’m afraid the terrain is treacherous even without Wolves on the prowl. 

Katherine’s Fenrirs keep hunting my squads down.  It took us a while but we found extensive remote sensors positioned throughout the valley, apparently the Wolves kept using here as a training ground.  They see everything that goes on.”
“Dammit!  I want you to find those godforsaken clanners and the Queen Bitch herself.  We don’t have time to dally.”
“Yes General, I’ll send more patrols immediately.”

"Katya I want you to find Godfrey and send him here.  Then check out the latest intercepts, she's out there somewhere we just need to find her and pin her against a rock."

"Of course General"
  Katya left and headed back to her own command post overseeing the Third Lyran Guard detachments.

A few moment later Colonel Ballard of the 18th Commandoes entered, a highly trained and experienced armored infantry he was as burly as they come.  His battle armor company had almost single-handedly swung the Battle of Alyina in the Lyrans favor so Archer knew if anyone could succeed it was Godfrey.
“Yes General.  You called for me.”
“Colonel I need you to send some of your men after the kids.  We might have to use them to lure her out of her Den.”

Godfrey was shocked at the order, “Sir, with all due respect you said the kids weren’t going to be involved.”
“Yes, I also said that unless we kill or capture Katherine and put Reinhardt in charge we might all hang or be fed to the Wolves.  Even if we do it might happen anyway.  Your choice Colonel.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Sharpnel on 27 August 2018, 11:22:12
General Christifori, now that you have threatened the children there can only be one positive outcome. Your death, you sniveling coward and incompetent ass.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 27 August 2018, 19:59:19
General Christifori, now that you have threatened the children there can only be one positive outcome. Your death, you sniveling coward and incompetent ass.

To be fair if you are willing to engage in a coup d'etat you had better not hold back.  He's not wrong about the consequences and he's got a large group of angry Wolves closing on him as we speak.  Remember this guy has been simmering for nearly a decade and seen some bad stuff in his time.  The St Ives War was even bloodier than in Canon.


08/19/3068 10:18 Southern Sector, McCullen Military Reservation, Weingarten, Wolf Empire

Katherine was eating her small breakfast in the mess when one of the Communications Techs broke onto the intercom.  The Wolves and Lyran Guards were running on limited stores and the tempo was grinding down as they exhausted themselves against one another.  “Loremaster, open transmission from General Christifori for you.”

“Katherine Wolf.  This is General Archer Christifori, I have your kids.  Surrender yourself at Beacon Ridge by noon on the twenty first and they will be returned to you unharmed. Then you will all be escorted to Tharkad where you will abdicate your position and forfeit your line but keep your lives.  This is not a negotiation.”

Katherine slammed her fist into the table and closed her palm over the knife so hard it drew blood, “Bastard!”  She rushed over to the communications terminal, everyone parted for her.  Her palm still bleeding but she felt nothing but rage.  “Did we get anything from Lyra!?”

“No Loremaster, she has not sent us any word since the sixth as ordered.”
“Well call her right now and confirm this!”

LIC Major Nero sprinted into the command room barely coming to a stop nearby.  “Belay that order.  Katherine, I understand your concern but what if he is just bluffing and intends to trace the signal?  Revealing not only us but your children as well?”

She grabbed his lapels leaving a bloody hand-print behind on the man's black fatigues, icy blue eyes staring directly at him fighting back tears but menacing in tone, “And what if he's not!”

Nero barely held himself together under the withering glare, “Think about it.  Why would he give you two days to surrender?  If he had them he could parade them in front of you right now.  Its classic PsyOps, he is trying to break your will and make you move first.”
“No!  He wouldn't try bluffing like that without having something to back it up.”
“Katherine I want you to think about this.  He's bluffing; your people would have told you if something went wrong.  You trust those people with your family have they ever proven themselves unworthy.”

“And what if you're wrong.”
“I'd be willing to risk my life that I'm not.”
Katherine drew her knife with her off-hand edge to his throat while still holding him with her bloodied hand, he didn't flinch. “Really?”
Nero leaned in just barely touching his skin to the razor sharp blade which drew a line of red from the stubble, “Yes.”  
He looked down at the crimson hand holding him firm, “Now see the medic for your hand.  You probably need stitches.”

Katherine turned and threw the knife with no spin right into a cork board with Archer Christifori's service portrait on it.  “You already crossed the line General but now you've gone to far.  You had better be right Nero or I will burn the whole universe down if I have to in order to get my revenge.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 28 August 2018, 08:04:17
Katherine on the warpath now!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 28 August 2018, 12:51:53
Battle of Beacon Ridge

08/21/3068 12:00

General Archer Christifori watched the sun reach its Zenith over the woodlands below from his Penetrator currently positioned on the commanding Beacon Ridge.  “She’s not coming General.”

“Oh she’ll come.  Even if she was certain I don’t have the kids. She’d still be here, I’ve made sure of it.”

The remaining Archer’s Avengers were positioned throughout the area. The remaining Lyran Mechs were incapable of pursuing their faster clan opponents so instead they would come to them.  They needed a set piece battle rather than fight as distributed units in the dense forest that could destroyed in detail or allow the Wolves to escape and hide again. 

In the forest, Katherine’s Barghest remained low to the ground the Quadruped Battlemech’s adaptive drive allowing it to move slow, low, and steady across broken terrain evading some of the large canopy trees that shaded the ground below.  Following behind in a staggered line were the remaining clanners under her command.  Slightly more than a Trinary in strength they had spent most of nine months on campaign and many were loving every minute of it.

Katherine was filled with trepidation. She wanted desperately to believe that Archer didn’t have her children, and even if he did that he was honorable enough to not just shoot her and be done with it.  If she brought herself to surrender; which was not even a sure thing, even for her kids.  Situations like this were the reason they were raised in clan space where her less than honorable enemies could not reach them.

The lead Fenrir scout reported in, “Loremaster, Archer’s force consists of a dozen heavy and assault class designs.”
“Aff, hold position and ensure no infantry sneak behind us.”

A green light confirmed the order

The Fifteen Wolf Battlemechs cleared the densest part of the woods and could finally see Archer’s Avengers scattered across the landscape.  Even with inferior numbers they still out massed the medium-heavy Wolf Trinary.  “You’re late Katherine.  Now are you going to surrender? Thus saving your children; or are you going to fight and doom them to a quick death.”

Katherine clutched the control sticks in the Barghest’s cockpit, if he wasn’t bluffing she was going to draw and quarter the bastard herself before burning his homeplanet to cinders. “Well why don’t you bring them out Archer?”

“You didn’t think I would bring them here; so that your Wolves might possible execute some daring rescue plan did you?  How foolish would I be if I were to do that?”

“I try not to prejudge the foolish of people General Christifori.  I have been surprised too often.  However, I think you are incredibly foolish, otherwise you wouldn’t be here on the wrong side of my Heavy Gauss Rifle.”

“Who do you think you are playing Mechwarrior Katherine?  Victor?  I knew the man to be one of great honor, a soldier without peer.  Everything you have done dishonors his memory and that of your father’s.”

“There you go surprising me again with your foolishness Archer.  I’m nothing like Victor and that’s why you shouldn’t have crossed me.  As for daddy, well I think he would have proud of me. 

I’ve done that he and Victor could never do, far faster than they could have imagined.” 

Every Wolf Battlemech went up to full power and charged, “And it won’t stop here.”

Going to stop that battle here, needless to say Katherine wins but her madness gets closer and closer to the surface.  She's going to take a break for now and we will continue with the rest of the happenings around the Inner Sphere. 

The other siblings will get more page time for a while even if she wants to hog the spotlight.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 28 August 2018, 18:23:37
Archer, you made your play..  But this Kat isn't stable to begin with, and she like all mothers will kill to protect her litter from a Threat.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 28 August 2018, 21:36:32
So much Katherine being new kind sane this alt timeline.  :D
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: smdvogrin on 29 August 2018, 07:43:07

Every Wolf Battlemech went up to full power and charged, “And it won’t stop here.”

If there's not a massive field of Vibromines between them and him, Christofori doesn't deserve the rank of General.  Why would this NOT be a planned ambush!?
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 31 August 2018, 16:18:46
If there's not a massive field of Vibromines between them and him, Christofori doesn't deserve the rank of General.  Why would this NOT be a planned ambush!?

Mostly because if he put mines between the forces, the Wolves would just run away and he can't catch them.  Mines were deployed in an attempt to prevent their escape however it didn't work although both forces were utterly devastated in the aftermath.


9/17/3068 Location – Blackgate Region, Eteienne’s Sanctuary (Sentarus), The Barrens

Commander Vektor Knox maneuvered his Sun Spider into position against the incoming Jade Falcons/Wolves.  A Visigoth Omnifigther attempted to strafe him, the heavy fighter's energy weapons charred the plains below, setting off an utterly harmless wildfire.  Two dozen High Explosive missiles streaked into the sky from his Mech’s arms and at least a dozen impacted.  Their warheads tore into the hypersonic space jet causing it to lose control.  Trailing smoke the fighter crashed into the rocky hill behind before exploding. 

“That was satisfying.  Sept on me, we are going to push the Falcons back.”

Knox looked up to see the exhaust plumes of the other Falcon dropships currently coming in to reinforce the landing zone just outside the range of friendly artillery from the hardened bunkers nearby.  Two entire Jade Wolf Galaxies escorted by three Warships had appeared at Sentarus’ Zenith point five days ago.  They had fought the Conspiracy’s Warship, the Quixote Oppenheimer, whose nuclear missiles destroyed the Aegis cruiser CJF Hawk Eye and seriously damaged both the Texas Battleship CJF Falcon’s Nest and the Cameron Cruiser CJF Turkina’s Pride before succumbing to their concentrated attack.

Now it was the ground forces that were responsible for winning the battle, the Blinding Eye’s Aerospace fighters had been swept from the sky but the Warships could not orbit above or risk getting close to the heavy weapons bunkers on the surface below.  Now that the enemy knew they were here this wouldn’t be the last of them.  The Jade Wolves would keep coming which meant that Vektor was going to have a very interesting life after all.

The Sun Spider’s compact form fit through the Black Ash trees keeping pace with the rest of his Sept.  They stopped in the forest just deep enough to keep a bead on the approaching Wolves while remaining concealed in the woods and within their ECM bubbles. 

A Trinary from the 12th Falcon Regulars disembarked from their Union C heading toward a hill near where their Visigoth had crashed.  Knox was disappointed with what came out, “Black Lanner A, Summoner D, Kit Fox C, Cougar and Hellbringer Primes, damn.  They are smarter than I thought.  Wimmer’s attack ruined our little surprises and it was not even successful.  This will make it slightly more difficult.  Hold fire until they close.”

The Wolves advanced into the forests as the Conspiracy fell back engaging sporadically with indirectly fired ER ATMs.  The Summoners and Cougars jumped over the forest crashing through the canopy while keeping pace with their ground bound star-mates and providing their own indirect missiles.  Another Sept joined in, with their numbers matching their opponents the deadly game of search and destroy continued.

Knox watched as the Wolves advanced into the artillery's maximum firing circle.  His unit was down two points and running low on ammunition but still combat effective.  He continued to fall back slowly maneuvering against the jumping mechs and ordering his fellow Sept to do the same. 

They didn't need to press the attack right now there was still area to pull back to.  What they did need though was a greater chance for the artillery's effectiveness.  Which meant time and distance more of one and less of the other.  The Blinding Eye mechs and protomechs pulled back and the Falcons kept attacking like good Clan Warriors scoring rare hits on his Sun Spider's heavily armored chassis and a scattering of strikes against his Septmates.  He did the same against theirs making sure the Summoner in particular always had a shot against him albeit a terrible one.

“That's right, come and get me birdbrains.”  Vektor looked down at his overlay as the enemies crossed the golden line of his rear line's artillery, “Broken Horn, this is Mongol Seven, fire for effect”

Behind the lines a ten gun battery of Thor and Marksman SPA's fired their guns raining molten steel down on the Falcons currently stuck in the woods.  A Hellbringer and Kit Fox immediately went down under the volume of fire and the Falcons were forced to pull back or be blown to pieces.

Knox's Sun Spider stopped and shot the cockpit of a downed Hellbringer with his Heavy Large Laser instantly vaporizing it, “Better luck next time Jaybirds.  There's plenty more where that came from."

The remainder of the Sept caught up with him, "Make sure none of them escape.”

"Aff Commander"

The Blinding Eye's Mech pressed the assault forcing the Trinary to lift off.  Knox looked up at the Dropship boosting into the atmosphere as another was dropping into the combat zone several dozen kilometers away, far enough that it was some other unit's problem.  "RTB for now Septs, They will be back"
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 04 September 2018, 10:02:44
11/09/3068 Location – Blackgate Fortress, Etienne’s Sanctuary (Sentarus), The Barrens

Colonel Kylie Zola and the rest of ONI’s Void 16 Team were pouring through the Blinding Eye Conspiracy’s computers.  The scientists that her LOKI commando team had captured were proving surprisingly collaborative after a few examples had been made of less than helpful researchers. 

The databanks were a treasure trove of information, clan tech prototypes abandoned by the Warrior Elite.  Genetic profiles from six different clans (Jaguar, Mongoose, Falcon, Wolf, Horse, Cats) and all manner of biotechnology including test data from brutal experimental medical procedures.  It did not surprise Colonel Zola or the other LIC operatives in the least bit when they uncovered the test subjects, Clan Warriors were known for being brutal at times.  Why should their Scientists be any different?

All of this technology varied from those that had been put aside during the lean years of the Pentagon Wars hundreds of years ago or during the Clan’s Golden Century when the Warrior Caste was ascendant to even recent testing and combinations with Inner Sphere technology.  All of it could be resurrected and had only cost millions of lives across the Clan Occupation Zones as biological and chemical weapons had compromised entire enclaves forcing them to be cleansed with Warships.  As the saying goes lives are cheap in the Inner Sphere.  It would be a massive disservice to just ICE everything if it could be put to a positive purpose. 

The Clan Watch forces had killed the Leadership Cabal and identified collaborators throughout the Inner Sphere clans as far away as Nova Cat space.  The Wolves and Horses were already rounding them up for interrogation and punishment while the Sharks and Falcons kept them under observation.  The collaborators in the Bears and Cats were not a concern to the Federated Commonwealth and its “allied” Clans. 

The new Hell’s Horse’s Khan James Cobb took it is a personal Grievance and was one step away from completely Reaving his Clan’s Scientist Caste for endangering the entire Clan’s existence.  Thus far his Loremaster had shown remarkable restraint however the Horses were weakened by the purge and conflict with the other Inner Sphere clans so it would be a steady process.

“Colonel Zola, something big over here.”

Kylie ran over to the data analyst and his scrolling screen displayed a long series of computer commands, “What is it?”
“Looks like the source code used for the HPG transmission network.  I’ve never seen anything like it before; it’s such an elegant algorithm even if the hardware is so brute force.  Filename is CLARION CALL, the notes indicate the authors were trying to optimize it, eliminate some bugs, eke out a performance improvement with the same hardware.  It wasn’t tested though as far as I can tell and its authors didn’t make it out of Sanctum.”
“We should transmit it along the Tamar Trunk, this might be the major strategic coup we need against the Word of Blake.  Who knows how long they will stay away?  They were beaten on Tharkad but they are not defeated.”
“I will upload it and send it to the Falcon’s HPG this afternoon.”

11/10/3068 Location – Tharkad HPG, Federated Commonwealth

“Incoming Priority Transmission from Tamar Precentor.”

The two COMSTAR HPG Senior Precentors looked over the transmission, “We should get this to the Primus right away.  If they are right we can’t let Blake ROM get their hands on this.”

Inside the HPG’s systems the SLOT virus found its target and it spread.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 04 September 2018, 13:46:18
11/17/3068 Location – Delos IV, Federation Outback

“Pull Back!”

Outback Marshal Major Milton “Stone” Tolum retreated behind a nearby ridge as the Hellion’s missiles rained down on the rocky escarpment.  His Roughneck had been torn up but taken down a few of weird small mechs that were part of the Hellion attack force.  His fellow Marshals and the surviving elements of the Kilbourne DMM were on the ropes and without an HPG on their own.  “****** I wish the Screaming Eagles were here right now.  As much as I hate their little tart of a CO; I do like those troopers.”

He checked his weapon systems again, his Incubus Arms Improved PPC was still online but his Mydron Excel was out of ammo reducing his already insufficient firepower.  “I took an assignment as far away from these Clan bastards as I could but they still followed me.”

“We can’t shake these guys; they’re too fast.”
“Calm yourself Marshal.  We’ll pull them in and take them out.  I fought these guys nearly twenty years ago.  I’ve learned a lot since then.”
“They have too Major.”
“I guess we will find out.”

The Marshal’s Roughnecks and DMM tanks pulled back into the swamplands surrounding Blue City.  Jagermechs and Blackjacks attempted to swat Hellion fighters out of the sky with mixed success before being bombed into oblivion.  A Kilbourne Warhammer and Marauder stood tall using the water to cool their lethal energy weapons creating thick steam clouds behind them.  Both had trouble getting a bead on the quick moving Hellion Omnimechs that leapt and ran around the forbidding terrain throwing lethal missiles downrange with abandon. 

The Whammy’s AMSes sprung to life but it was not enough against the sheer volume being put down range.  Eventually the mech collapsed under the firepower before more Hellions pressed forward into the breach.  The Marauder was brought low by a Point of Protomechs that had dismantled it piece by piece, it had taken a few down with it but in the end the Marauder was pounded into scrap.  A DMM Challenger X found itself out of road and made a final stand against the onslaught.  Its heavy weapons took down a whole Point of Protos and mauled a pair of Hellions but the tank was outmaneuvered and even its thick hide was not impenetrable.  The tank was disabled and more Clanners continued without breaking stride in pursuit of the fleeing Marshals.

As the Marshals continued deeper into the swamp they saw the distinctive flight path of jumping Hellion Omnimechs.  The Marshals were now circled by the enemy, the seven Mech strong group knew it and so did the Hellions.

A Salamander Battle Armor perched atop a Black Lanner Omnimech somewhere nearby, “Major Tolum, this is Khan Xander Drake of the Hellions.  Your men are surrounded, there is no escape.  However you have fought well.  I am strongly considering allowing your people to join the Hellion’s Touman as Bondsmen.  It is a better outcome than what will happen if you do not surrender.”

The Salamander's pilot flames ignited under their flamer mounts, "Make your choice quickly because we won't be staying long.  I have other places to be."
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 04 September 2018, 21:09:30
11/25/3068 12:58 Location – Cerulean Waters Inc, Cerulean, Federation Outback

Grand Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion and Precentor Cerulean Suraj Clemens were in one of the meeting rooms of the brand new building that Yvonne was about to officiate the opening of, “What about the HPG situation?”

Precentor Clemens blanched at the mention of their troubles, “We're working on it Your Grace.  New Avalon thinks it is something related to latest capacity upgrades to the Outback's network.”
Yvonne tapped her fingers on the brand new glass and metal  “I really need those HPGs functional Precentor.  Kilbourne station lost contact with several border planets in the past week.”
“I know Grand Duchess, you can count on COMSTAR.  We will fix it.”

She stood up, grabbing the large man by the disk pendant that hung around his neck and pulled him down to her level.  Looking him right in the eyes, “You'd better!  I won't have the Hellions or Taurians rampaging in my territory because I can't make a call.  Get out of here and back to work!”
“Yes Your Grace, right away”

Yvonne watched the man run with his tail between his legs.  She didn't know what was up with the HPGs but they had started to act erratically at the worst possible moment.  A Fifth Fleet Warship patrolling the frontier reported that an arc stretching from Delos IV to Okefenokee had been hit by the Hellions in a series of rapid fire raids that overwhelmed their meager garrisons.  They had stolen goods and taken prisoners but didn't occupy any territory.  The Hellions' blitzed through the mission and were gone as quick as they come.

The Outback Legions were on high alert already docked to their parent warships while the March Militias were coming to full readiness.  There were to many worlds to protect and without functional HPGs on the frontier it would be difficult to track down the enemy fleet and bring forces into play to deal with them.  Already the Fifth Fleet's Base around Chirikof was buzzing with activity as the two Warships currently on rotation there were reactivated with their reserve crews and sent toward the Concordat Frontier. 

The situation was giving Marshal Reitman fits on Minette while Yvonne tasked a military physician to care for the old man.  If his heart gave out it would be another worse case scenario.  At least with the HPGs down only a few knew of the Hellions' assaults on the Frontier but they were a very troublesome few.

Yvonne took a moment to recompose herself doing the breathing exercises that she was taught at Point Barrow, techniques that would have been really useful while she was imprisoned on New Avalon.  “Ok, Yvonne you can do this.  You've been in worse situations; but other people's lives are on the line not yours and that makes you feel worse.  Smile like nothing is bothering you.”

Her assistant stood just outside the door watching but not listening to her boss talk to herself.  “Grand Duchess they're ready for you outside.”

Yvonne collected her thoughts looking out toward the ocean longingly, “Thank You Brianne, I'll be there in a moment.”

Fifteen minutes later

Yvonne wore a seafoam green dress that brought out her red hair and stood next to the CEO of Cerulean Waters, inc.  Due to the enhanced security situation a squad of the 1st Outback Legion's infantry along with the CO of the unit stood beside her with the Federation Marshals that escorted her everywhere she went.  The sea breeze was soft and fragrant as it blew the column of water coming from the shining fountain behind the stage.

“It is my great pleasure to attend the opening of the newest Cerulean Waters, inc HQ.  Count Trefel and his people have worked tirelessly to supply the Federated Commonwealth and Periphery with clean life giving water.  Without which these boom times would not be possible...”

Yvonne continued her speech as a man walked through the crowd getting to the press pool before drawing a needler, he fired the lethal projectiles at the Marshal standing in front of him before raising the deadly weapon toward the Grand Duchess.  “Your Imperial Tyranny ends here Davion whore.”

Lieutenant General Ofermen leapt forward covering Yvonne with his body, his weight pulled her down.  Yvonne could see his eyes and mouth open wide as the projectiles rent his flesh before the Marshals gunned down the assailant in a cacaphony of pistol fire.

Everything in Yvonne's world came crashing down from that stage and there was nothing but darkness and chaos.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 05 September 2018, 10:24:36
So Loki might have ( the HPG grid
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 05 September 2018, 13:52:27
So Loki might have ( the HPG grid

It was totally the Word of Blake's fault, at least that is what the Propaganda Division is going to say once they figure it out.

Back to the story

11/27/3068 15:41 Suwama Munitions Factory, Anaheim, Federation Outback

The Periphery March Militia Command Post was frantic with activity as soldiers in two different sets of uniforms rushed to ready their war machines for a coming battle.  A young infantry runner opened the flaps of a tan canvas tent before stopping and saluted the officers inside, “Enemies incoming General.  The Concordat's Seventh Corps based on the markings.”

General Arush Singh of the 14th Outback Legion aka “The Messengers of Shiva” looked at the young Corporal before brushing some dirt off his Khaki jumpsuit.  He ordered the rest of the room to their ready positions with just a hand gesture and they departed.  “You ever been in combat boy?”
“No sir”
“You won’t be able to say that much longer.  Lions do not fear Bulls, nor shall you.  Now get to your station.”

The young man stiffened and saluted before running to his position.

General Singh jogged to his own position across the grassland that surrounded the Suwama facility.  His entire expanded LCT plus supporting units from Suwama’s Security force were lined up on a small rise.  Arush found his mech, the Black Hawk-KU “Lion of Lothair” painted to blend in with the nearby terrain.  He saluted the tech that handed him his cooling vest and boarded the machine currently coming to full power.  His challenge phrase, “We tell tales of heroes so that we may know their courage.”

The Taurian Forces set down 128 kilometers from the Factory both forces leaving behind a conventional defense force to secure their rear areas but pushed forward with Mechanized Infantry, Self-Propelled Artillery, Tanks, and Battlemechs.  They met on the Durak Downs the chalky white cliffs and grassland making for a stark contrast to the ensuing bloodbath.  Skirmish forces met and the line solidified on the heavy tanks that both sides brought to the table with them.  The new, agile, and hard hitting Brahma Battlemechs initially caught the AFFC forces off-guard as they were expecting more traditional Taurian tactics and equipment. They quickly adapted but it cost them precious time and too much damage from the cutting edge HPPCs each one of the enemy units carried.

The Seventh Corps pressed the assault with their cavalry units maneuvering against the 14th’s using far more sophisticated tactics akin to the FLWM to isolate and pulverize isolated lances.  The 14th called in punishing firepower from its artillery batteries that tore jagged holes in the enemy line but they reformed quickly.  Arush’s Black Hawk fired everything at a Wolverine 9D spotting for the Arrow IV carriers up range.  The medium mech succumbed to the withering iPPC and cSRM6 fire and his sensors read that it was dead, “About time The Ecole militare sent me a suitable challenger.  I'd have to fight Smoke Jaguars again to get this kind of thrill.”

11/28/3068 17:58 Location – 1000 Springs Military Hospital, Cerulean, Federation Outback

Grand Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion tossed and turned in her hospital bed before waking with a start.  The nurse currently on her round was startled by the sudden movement as was the Marshal seated nearby.  The nurse looked at her with concern, “Nightmares again?”

“Yes, I’ll be fine, I guess.”  Yvonne rubbed her head which still ached from the fall three days ago, it had saved her life but given her a concussion and nothing but bad dreams,  “There are unfortunately a lot of dark thoughts on my mind.”
“I’m sorry that I can’t help you with those.  Can I get you something?”
“Something to kill this headache would be appreciated.  What time is it?”
“Almost Eighteen Hundred.  I’ll be right back with the medicine and tell them to prepare your dinner.”

The nurse departed for the pharmacy, “Anything happen while I was out Bruce?”
“No ma’am.  Not that we could broadcast anything to nearby systems except via the Robinson and I’d much rather have the Wings of Liberty
(The 1st Outback Legion’s Aerospace Wing) overhead than use them as our paperboys.”
“Me too.  Did we get a confirmation about the gunman?”
“No confirmation but he’s either a Wobbie or Taurian.  Not that it matters I think.”
“Either way is very troubling.  The Word of Blake attacked Tharkad nearly a year ago, then they disappeared, the Combine is under siege, we are under siege, and now the HPGs are on the fritz.  I don’t want to think about how bad this could get.”
“Aye ma’am, I’m going to stand outside while you eat and make sure the others checked everything before it got to you.”
“Thank You Bruce.  I know you feel bad about General Ofermen but he died serving in combat as much as you Marshals wished it wasn’t necessary.”
“I know any of us would have taken those needles for you or Michael.  We failed in our responsibility and a good soldier died because of it.”
“We’re in a war, soldiers will die.  We just have to make sure they do so for the right reasons.”
“I know Yvonne but it doesn’t make me feel any better about it.  Get better soon, we have too much work to do for you to be spending time in bed.”

Yvonne saluted to the man, “Affirmative Marshal, you are dismissed.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 05 September 2018, 23:21:06
Just a quick snapshot courtesy of the omnipresent ROM

Rimward Threats

Due to Katherine's refusal to buy any more FWL War Materiel, as well as the revelation that she is allied with the Clans, and the Combine's credit problems. The FWL Military Industrial Complex is retooling underutilized Quickdraw, Anvil, Trebuchet, Centurion, Falcon Hawk, and Ostscout Lines to produce new mechs for export to the Trinity Alliance, Mercs, the Circinus Federation, and Word of Blake Militia. 

These include the following
Talos (50t, XLFE, 5/8, LB10X, 2 MML5, 2 ERML)
Sarissa (50t, LFE, 5/8, Plasma Rifle, MML7+A4, 2 MG, SPL)
Toro (35t, LFE, 5/8, ERLL, ERML, 2 MML5)
Firebee 3 (35t, LFE, 5/8/5, ERLL, 2 SRM4)
Firebee 4 (35t LFE, 5/8/5, Plasma Rifle, SRM4)
Brahma (60t, LFE, 5/8/3 HPPC, MML7+A4, AMS, ERML, TacCom)
Koschei (60t LFE, UAC10, ERLL)

TDF Condition 3068

Ten Corps {40 Reinforced Regiments (160 Points)} of Regulars, Two Corps of Guards (New Vandenberg and Taurus), Three Warships (Quixote TCS Vendette, Impavido TCS Iron Bull, Vincent TCS Vandenberg)

The FWL also gave Taurus Territorial Industries the license and tools needed to begin limited assembly of the Xanthos MkII (100t SFE, 3/5, Gauss Rifle, Plasma Rifle, MRM-30, 2 B-pods, TacCom) and Goliath (6H) quadruped Assault Battlemechs.  Technicron is also improving the yards around Regis' Roost to ensure the WOB Fleet has a secure yard in case it requires repairs after fighting with the Commonwealth Fleet.

MAF Conditions 3068

30 Augmented Regiments across Five Different Corps (Royal Guard, Highlanders, Light Horse, Cuirassiers, Fusiliers), Two Warships (Feng Huang Upgrade MCS Kossandra Centrella, ROM also intercepted reports about a Samarkand Block II named the MCS Diana Centrella, we have not been able to confirm this but are looking into it)

The FWL has licensed and is providing assistance to Majesty Metals and Manufacturing's new Phoenix Hawk and Marauder production lines on Dunianshire.  Additionally Irian Technologies has been hired to provide technology and training in order to increase the dropships produced each year on the planet.  Their Aerospace Yards currently build the Upgraded Leopard, Kuan Ti, Lung Wang, Buccaneer, and Monarch Dropships.

The Magistracy Fleet is maintained at a yard which we believe might be hidden somewhere in the Trznadal Cluster.  It's exact position and the source of the mystery Samarkand as well as the Dictators seen within their borders will be found out eventually but MIM continues to stymie our efforts.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 07 September 2018, 09:04:06
Another Timeline post because there is just to much stuff going on to get a proper story treatment.  I'm trying to get to the finish line before I write out the shorter stories in isolation as melding them together is quite challenging.


1/7 – Daphne Steiner-Davion gives birth to (Prince) Jacob on Minette.

1/15 – The Word of Blake's 42nd Shadow Division, De Facto Coordinator Franklin Sakamoto's Resistance (Hanko), and the Black Dragons fight on Luthien.  LAW City is destroyed by a nuclear weapon although no one is certain who set it off.  The three way battle is bloody and destructive but gives the Hanko space to maneuver and defeat the Black Dragons on world after they were heavily damaged by the Blakist 42nd Shadow Divison which was annihilated.

1/17 – The CCAF launches Operation-THUNDERSTRIKE against the Tikonov Grand Republic focusing heavily on Tikonov, Nanking, and Fletcher.  The Capellan March is also targeted with the primary targets being Caselton, Kathil, and New Syrtis, Four TDF Corps are engaged on the Rimward Frontier forcing Duke George Hasek II to split his defenses to deal with the onslaught.

1/19 – Black Dragons launch Operation-IRON DRAGON against the Federated Suns Draconis March aiming for New Ivarsaan and Robinson.  The DMM and Regional Commands distracted by other raids and lacking central command hold them off but at a heavy price.  Duke Tancred Sandoval is forced to deploy with the 1st Robinson Rangers in order to protect his dominion against the revanchist DCMS.

1/20 – Federal FWLM forces subverted by Blakist sympathizers along with Word of Blake Militia assault the Commonwealth's Dixie Combat Theater in the Bolan Province.  General of the Armies Reinhardt Steiner leads the defense from the rechristened Tharkad Battlecruiser FCS Seth Marsden (aka the Schadenfreude) rather than Tharkad to limit communication lag.  Archon Katherine still remains in Wolf Space as far as anyone knows.

1/21 – WOBM forces attack Donegal, Coventry, Alarion, Skye, Hesperus, Arc-Royal, and Arcturus but are repulsed by a stronger than expected defense.  The battles that do reach the ground are costly as Word of Blake Militia engage in a scorched earth campaign against their strongest enemy. 

The Battle over Alarion results in the emergency activation of a partially completed Mjolnir FCS Svartalfheim (“Svelte”) to engage the enemy fleet alongside the Port Sydney Naval Garrison and the Commonwealth First Fleet led by the Avalon cruiser FCS Alexander Davion (2 Avalons, Zodiac, 3 Foxes, 2 Eclipses, Liberator, Vincent mk 42, and Lola III).  The FWLN loses the Thera FWLS Delos’ entire battle group (Thera, 2 Eagles, Agamennon, and Zechetinu) but the Svartalfheim is destroyed along with the Zodiac Aries, 3 Fox/Eclipse, Lola III CWS Nature’s Wrath and Vincent mk 42 CWS Trailblazer.

The Battle over Hesperus sees both the McKenna WOBS Blake’s Sword and Texas CJW Falcon’s Nest destroyed in the exchange along with most of their battle groups.  Total cost is ten ships with the Blakists losing six to the Jade Wolves’ four although the survivor (The Whirlwind CJW Emerald Tornado commanded by Commodore Tanya) is nearly destroyed.  The ground battle results in the near destruction of the Gray Death Legion, Two Jade Wolf Galaxies, and the remaining Lyran forces on-planet but the complete destruction of the Blakists.

The Battle over Arc-Royal sees the WIE Werewolf destroyed by the Blakist Flagship, the Farragut Battleship WOBS Righteous Justice, which is heavily damaged in the exchange.  The Wolf in Exile’s fleet is only saved by the arrival of the CWS Nicholas Kerensky’s Task Force, only the Cameron Ulric Kerensky and Potemkin Full Moon survive to make it to Tamar for repairs.  The Word of Blake loses six ships in the process but the survivors return to the Ruins of Gabriel for repair.  The depleted Wolves in Exile and full strength Kell Hounds suffer heavy casualties at the hands of the Blakist 48th and 50th Shadow Divisions and their subordinate WOBM units.

1/25 – Minoru Nova Cat arrives in the Luthien system to rescue Franklin Sakamoto. Minoru’s Nova Cat jumpships head toward New Samarkand with Franklin before continuing the Cat’s search for Theodore and Hohiro Kurita.  Shin Yodama is left in charge of Luthien's recovery

2/1 – The Azami Elders declare independence from the Draconis Combine and take control of factories and stores in their territory to ensure their defense.

2/3 – General Photon Brett-Marik and his cousin Colonel Alys Rousset-Marik unite behind their “uncle” Thomas Marik (now known as a fraud) against Paul and Corrine Marik. They believe the Word of Blake does not have a chance and will bring down the whole of the Free Worlds League in the process.  The Duchy of Andurian, Rim Commonality, and Principality of Regulus claim neutrality in the coming conflict and call for a no confidence vote in Parliament but it fails.

2/7 – Atreus is hit by a nerve gas attack that kills many parliamentarians and civilians while causing massive casualties among the Knights of the Inner Sphere.  The Rim Collection is under siege by the Federated Commonwealth backed Marian Hegemony.

2/11 The Free Worlds League is now embroiled in a vicious civil war fueled by the expansive military industrial complex and return to regional command in the wake of the HPG Whiteout.  Old blood feuds erupt into new violence throughout the successor state.

2/14 – The Hellions continue to contest Crofton in the Federation Outback but take control of the all-important Starcorps Factories on that world.  Grand Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion rallies Outback commands to stem the tide and chase them out of the Federated Suns. 

She commissions Prince Peter Steiner-Davion as a Brigadier in the AFFC despite his hesitation as a new father and affiliation with the invading Taurian Concordat through his wife.  Yvonne gives him an ultimatum; he either accepts the commission remaining in the Commonwealth forever or he will be given passage back to Randis and cut off from his sister forever because he ran away again.

2/17 – The Taurian 7th and 8th Corps continue to skirmish with the Outback Legions and Periphery March Militias in the Outback’s Rimward Frontier.  Generals Marsdin and Singh plan a counter-offensive against the Concordat but are hindered due to the HPG whiteout, Hellions raiding their rear lines, and WoB Shadow Divisions raiding their front lines.

3/15 – The IV Legio of the Marian Hegemony begins a heavy raiding campaign against the Spinward section of the Magistracy of Canopus.  The Third Raventhir Cuirassiers are deployed to deal with them. 

Commander Adonis Valentine and Major Erde Centrella are recalled to Canopus IV from Luxen by the Magestrix.

Canopian Worlds along the Fronc Frontier are attacked by Aurigan Coalition forces and various pirates and mercenaries.  The MAF is heavily engaged along the strategically important corridor from Dunianshire to Detroit.  The Feng Huang MCS Kossandra Centrella is stationed above Detroit in support of the CCAF and MAF garrisons on world and to intimidate the hostile raiders.

3/18 - Franklin Sakamoto lands with both Genyosha and 3 Ghost Regiments attempting to stop the rebellious Black Dragons under Kanrei Minamoto on New Samarkand.

3/23 – Operation-THUNDERSTRIKE runs out of steam as the CCAF even with WOB help is incapable of maintaining momentum against the Tikonov Republic and Capellan March at the same time. 

4/1 - Duke George Hasek II launches his counter-offensive, Operation-SOVEREIGN JUSTICE, with the entire Davion Guards Corps in support against the exhausted CCAF to great initial success. 

4/12 - The Crucis Lancers supported by the Tikonov Republican Guards and Commonwealth’s Third Fleet begin to attack the Free Worlds League’s Terra facing worlds to support the heavily embattled Lyran Commonwealth, leaving the Confederation to their Davion Guards brothers and Capellan March forces.

5/2 – The Word of Blake subverts Magistracy planetary nobles on Thraxa, Vixen, and Gambilon.  In exchange for security from the marauding Marian Hegemony Armed Forces they pledge to follow the Word of Blake rather than their Magestrix.

5/14 – The evacuated MIM Base “Gorgon’s Nest” on Gambilon is overrun by the Opacus Venatori but is destroyed by its failsafe bomb.  This is just the latest battle in the shadow war that MIM and ROM have been fighting for years.

5/22 - Magestrix Emma Centrella sends Curatis to Taurus under cover in order to build a network that might eventually be used to assassinate Grover Shraplen's Junta.

6/18 – Reinhardt Steiner’s Iron Wall is pushed to the breaking point against the FWLM and WOBM and has to withdraw to an arc centered on Caledonia and arcing Freedom to Skye and Bolan to Son Hoa.  The Free Worlds League now occupies nearly sixty Commonwealth worlds but internal strife continues to erode the grip they have on them.

6/22-28 – Colonel Alys Rousset-Marik leads an attack on Irian with her allies, hoping to capture it before the invading FedSuns forces do in order to strengthen her position and save the world from destruction. 

The Word of Blake Militia defenders, in defiance of the natives, use scorched earth tactics to ensure the valuable facilities do not fall into “enemy” hands.  When IrTech Security forces do fight the Word of Blake they are annihilated. 

Colonel Alys gets nothing but suffers heavy casualties for the daring assault.  The victory exposes the Word of Blake’s true motivations against the Free Worlds League by devastating one of their most industrious planets just for spite.

7/4 – Franklin Sakamoto’s Task Force-BLACK SAIL is successful in recapturing Samarkand from the Black Dragons. He consolidates his position while resting and refitting his soldiers to continue the push against the rebel samurai.

7/10 – General Photon Brett-Marik’s Army of True Patriots attempts to create a bridge to Bolan through hostile territory in order to link up with Lyran Forces under Reinhardt Steiner.

7/23 – De Jure First Prince Peter Steiner-Davion’s Task Force ICEBLOCK launches from Minette bound for Crofton and the Hellions’ occupied territory.

7/28 – The Word of Blake backed Circinus Federation goes to war with the Commonwealth backed Marian Hegemony the IV, VI, and VII Legio are recalled from their theaters to defend their home territory.

8/2 – The Principality of Regulus launches a massive assault on Gibson but it is foiled by Word of Blake sabotage.  Prince Eric Cameron-Jones vows that there will be “nothing but dust and rust” when he is through.  The Word of Blake realizing its support is drying up and allies are under attack begins to evacuate key personnel to Terra and redeploy forces to “more hospitable” places.

8/14 – Task Force ICEBLOCK supported by the entire Fifth Fleet led by the Avalon Cruiser FCS Victor Steiner-Davion arrives in the Crofton system and begins the Campaign against the Hellions.

9/2 – Operation – SOVEREIGN JUSTICE ends with the Battle of Sian that sees Duke George Hasek II’s forces engage the CCAF in a naval and ground battle that causes massive casualties including the accidental death of Duchess Candace Allard-Liao.  Her death rallies the Confederation and the death of Duke Hasek’s mother Kym Sorensen-Hasek forces him to return to New Syrtis.

9/21 – The Word of Blake’s “Master” along with the 41st Shadow Division arrives on Canopus IV to confront Magestrix Emma Centrella about their “arrangement.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 12 September 2018, 10:59:43

Flash Transmission along Clan HPG Network

All six of the Clans in the Inner Sphere will be meeting in the city of Odessa on Nox to negotiate a cease fire between the Ghost Bear, Hell’s Horses, and Wolf Clans and talk about the possibility of founding a new Great Council.

End Transmission

11/30/3068 Location – Odessa, Nox, Ghost Bear Dominion

The City of Odessa, a rich resort town, on Nox, a world that had seen many masters but currently flew the Ghost Bear Dominion’s Flag.  As one of the few well developed industrial worlds in the former Free Rasalhague Republic it was a tough loss for Clan Wolf but the planet was notoriously unruly and the Bears had won it back fair and square. 

Katherine walked along the beach with three children close behind, blending in perfectly with the other civilian caste that were taking in the pleasant spring day.  A whole year had passed since she made her announcement on Tharkad about her, Vladimir, and their children and while she remained victorious throughout the year it had worn her down at all levels.  The only thing that kept her sane was the fact that she could spend more time with the children.  No longer having to hide her connection to them from the world.  The HPGs being down made it all the more relaxing no longer was she ignorance was innocence even if she dreaded what might come.

Morgan grabbed her hand breaking her out of a daze, “When is Dad going to be done?”
“I’m not sure dear, he is very busy at work with the others. I am certain they will be finished soon.  Clan Laws are much less finicky then those in the Inner Sphere.  He just has to bust some heads to get his point across sometimes.”

Alaric and Siegfried nearby laughed, “Remember when he head butted that Ghost Bear Star Colonel on Rasalhague?”
“Yeah that was great, knocked the guy out in front of his whole Cluster.”

“Okay, it has been really great to spend some time with him, and my brothers…”
Both brothers were chasing each other and wrestling in the sand like their Clan Sibko had taught them.  Even when they weren’t on Tamar an Imperial Wolf Master-at-Arms stationed on the Blood Moon kept up all of the children’s Warrior training and Katherine or one of her staff tutored them on more academic and political skills.

Morgan and Katherine continued walking down the beach the warm white sand crunching under their sandals, “I know your brothers are a bit much but mine were very similar.  Peter got in fights with Victor… and Arthur about anything.  He had the worst temper, but was the only one I could relate too.  We both were stuck in the middle, with each other, between two Realms not feeling like we belonged in either of them.
I turned in and became cold.
He lashed out with an all-consuming rage.

I hope he found peace somewhere…because Victor and Arthur didn’t get the chance.”

“You sound so sad when you talk about him.”
Katherine didn’t realize that she was crying but quickly wiped her face with the sleeve of her dress lest anyone see, “I am sad.  I don’t know what happened to him.  It’s been so long since we last saw each other.  I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again.”

02/14/3069 03:47 Location – Verdant Manor, Minette, Federation Outback

A Donar Attack VTOL in the Tan and Gold colors of the 1st Outback Legion landed at the helipad outside the Ridgetop Manor.  Snowflakes were pushed away with the rotor wash creating a small Blizzard that engulfed the nearby area.  Hauptmann Yvonne Steiner-Davion put a brown bomber jacket over her tan flight suit pushing the collar up to ward against the chill before exiting the chopper. 

Her boots left deep footprints in the thin snow as she walked the two dozen meters to her house.  Her co-pilot kept the chopper warm and ready to depart at a moment’s notice while she finished some personal business.  Inside Peter was waiting, “What is going on Yvonne?  Shouldn’t you still be on tour?”

“You have a lot of questions big brother.  I don’t have a lot of time and only need one answer from you.”

Peter looked at her confused but followed her as she walked toward her wing of the mansion. His family wisely stayed out of that side, there were too many painful mementos of time and people lost in her rooms.  Currently though he followed her as she walked leaving wet boot-prints on the recently waxed hardwood floor. Something was troubling her and there was still lots of lingering resentment even after more than a year attempting to make amends.

They stopped in front of an alcove where a folded Federated Suns flag and custom painted advanced neurohelmet occupied a small shelf.  Yvonne lifted the helmet and thrust it toward Peter only barely holding back tears as it revealed the service picture of a young man with red hair, “Are you here to stay Peter?” 

Peter grabbed the neurohelmet and rotated it around, Steiner-Davion, Arthur A. was painted in gold script along the front along with the First Prince’s seal.  The neurohelmet suddenly felt like it was ten times heavier, “They’d never accept me back. I left.  Why should they after what I did?  What I made you do?  How can you give me this?”

The angry sad Yvonne of the office a year ago came back, “****** Peter, I lost both of the men I love most because of you.  I almost died again out there because of it.  I’ve sacrificed so much, lied to Katherine about you at potential risk to myself. 

Now I am going out to fight the Hellions.

The Confederation, Taurians, and Blakists are all running rampant across the Federated Suns.  Its people need us to protect them and I need you to stand up and take on that responsibility.

If you can’t do it then we are finished, forever.”

A long silent moment passed between the two of them and Yvonne put her hands on the helmet again about to take it back, “Father would have been so disappointed.”

She pulled but he resisted, “I am tired of disappointing people Yvonne, it’s been my life’s story. 
Maybe he would’ve been…

Maybe Victor and Arthur would’ve been as well but…

I’m not going to let you go back out there to deal with this alone.  I came back to stay and make amends to everyone I’ve let down.”

Yvonne let go of the helmet leaving it in his hands, “It’s a long list unfortunately but I have to start somewhere.  Where are we going?”

She was relieved but tried not to show just how much so, it was scary enough to face down Taurians alone, the Hellions were a whole new level above even with Peter at her side, “Crofton.
The Hellions have attacked and are attempting to capture the StarCorps factory there.  I’ve already sent for another chopper to take you back to the starport,
First Prince.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 13 September 2018, 06:28:17
Looks like Peter being yanked from the dugout and he's get thrown into the game.  I guess he won't be using a Fafnir this rendition.  Hellions are bit of fast lot when it comes to fighting.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Sharpnel on 13 September 2018, 07:09:41
The cure to the Hellions is lots of minefields filled with LRM launched Thunder-Aug mines.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 13 September 2018, 08:14:40
The cure to the Hellions is lots of minefields filled with LRM launched Thunder-Aug mines.

To bad they are not fighting the Confederation, now that would be an interesting battle for certain

Return to Story

02/08/3069 Location – Overwatch Base, Sabari, Bolan, Federated Commonwealth

General of the Armies Reinhard Steiner looked over the holographic war table in front of him filled in as best as possible from the sporadic reports of enemy forces invading the Dixie Combat Theater. The HPG network was still down and although COMSTAR claimed they could fix them,  Reinhard was not so sure. Which is why he was here rather than on Tharkad or Furillo with his brother, their father had died assassinated by League or Blakist agents so this was personal. “Any word on or from Katherine?”

“No General, last reports still had her in Wolf Space.  She wasn’t on any of the worlds recently attacked.” 

“Reports are trickling in from the latest Blakist assaults.  It looks like the Clan Warships did major damage to the enemy fleet, but it was costly.”  Quick holographic notes marked the latest battles around the seven strategic worlds attacked, the battle reports marked off the units lost. 

“The détente between the Clans has freed up more units to head toward the Skye Theater under saKhan Marialle Raddick and Loremaster Ivan Kerensky.  Had they not shown up above Arc-Royal the Kell Hounds and Phelen Kell’s Exiled Wolves would have been annihilated; even now they are heavily depleted and incapable of supporting our position.”

“Loremaster Ivan Kerensky?”
“Dah General, apparently Katherine gave up her title.”

“Crazy bitch, I suppose it’s for the best.”

Reinhard looked at the table, “Hard enough to run one empire in peacetime, war adds a whole new level of difficulty.  At least I have her and Adam’s undivided attention in the back field.”

An alarm marked the proximity warning as RADAR picked up twelve incoming WOB and FWLM dropships escorted by an Agamemnon, “I have more than enough on my plate already."

He loomed over the table and put his cooling vest on, the insignia of a Rhino charging emblazoned across his chest
"AIRCOM, Launch all Fighters, targeting their Aerospace cover.
I want all AAA online and ready to ensure Air Security.
The Seth Marsden will keep the Agamemnon off our backs but it won't get those League bastards out of our faces.”

5/22/3068 Location – Crimson Palace, Canopus IV, Magistracy of Canopus

Magestrix Emma Centrella was looking over the latest MIM reports in her regal robes within which were concealed all manner of weapons.  Still she now was always under the watchful eyes of Raventhir’s Iron Hand.  The elite Royal Guards had foiled ten assassination attempts against her just this year, each ordered by various unknown entities but likely Word of Blake.  “Damn those upstart Marian pirates.  You would be nothing without your patrons and even then we will still prevail as we always have.”

Curatis was let in through the large dark wooden doors at the end of the hall.  His boot heels clicking against the fine white and red marble floor his bald head tracked by an Iron Hand sharpshooter concealed somewhere in the gallery like any other guest to the Palace.  He stopped before being beckoned fourth by Emma and kissed her many ringed hand, “You called for me Your Radiance.” 
“Yes Curatis, I have a very important assignment for you.  I am sending you to Taurus, I don’t like where this is going.  The Word of Blake has subverted all of our allies and thrown them in mass against our enemies.  I am afraid it won’t stop before there is nothing left.  Naomi can reign in Sun-Tzu and Kali before they cause too much damage but I need someone on Taurus to stop the Protector.”

“You want me to assassinate Grover Shraplen?”
“Not unless it’s necessary.  The succession crisis alone would ruin the Concordat as any kind of useful ally in the future.  Erik isn’t old enough to take on the mantle and Cham Kithrong is not popular enough with the TDF to retain their loyalty. 

I did what I could for them but you are my ace in the sleeve.  I need you to ruin Grover in such a way that their invasion of the Federated Suns stops.  I won’t have a future son-in-law live to inherit its radioactive ashes.”

“Of course Magestrix, you can count on me I will leave tonight.”
“I knew I could.  Safe travels Curatis.”
“Be careful Emma, too many knives are coming for you.”
“Thank You Curatis, goodbye.”
“Until next time.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 13 September 2018, 12:15:51
01/28/3068 Location – Parliament Building, Atreus, Free Worlds League

Captain-General Thomas Marik attempted to call Parliament to order, the HPG Crisis had everyone increasingly on edge as Parliament began its session after an extended holiday break made longer by the HPGs being nonfunctional and making jumpship routing even more difficult. 

The imagination of these men and women knew no bounds he thought. Even though “Thomas” had been a COMSTAR ROM agent it didn’t mean he knew a damn thing about the technology that ensured the blessed order’s monopoly on HPG traffic.

“Order! Order!  You will all respect the decorum of this chamber unless there is reason to do otherwise.  There will be no more false accusations about who is at fault. 

I have been assured that the Word of Blake is working tirelessly to resolve the issue.  We will merely have to make do until they do so.  Understand?”

The Two Parliamentarians separated and we returned to their chairs, “Now back to the point, Both SAFE and ROM are attempting to find the source of this issue.  I am ordering Federal Forces to stay back from the Commonwealth border while we do so to prevent starting a war we do not wish to fight.”

Duke Hector Stewart stood up and called out, “Bullshit, Captain-General.  We all know who the source of this is and we should do something about it.  How much longer are you going to allow our enemies to gather strength?  The Free Worlds League is blind, Reinhard’s Armies could be crashing across the border right now and we wouldn’t know it.”

He looked around for an answer, “At least the Word of Blake scares them, they laugh at us while planning our downfall on Tikonov or Tharkad.  With the Combine in shambles make no mistake that we are the next target.  Your attempts at diplomacy have put us on the proverbial back foot to the Three Cs (Clans, Commonwealth, and COMSTAR).”

Other parliament members joined into the discussion before it became a cacophony of voices interrupted once more by the Captain-General, “Gentlemen it is regrettable that we have turned this hallowed hall of power into nothing more than a secondary school locker room with our short sighted endeavors.  I think we should adjourn for the day while we sort through our concerns in a more solitary manner.”

Before he could strike the gavel Minister of Intelligence, Count of Dormouth, and Representative of Marik Paul Marik and the cyborg WOB Precentor ROM Alexander Kernoff walked in, the Leaguers were understandable shocked to see a cyborg so boldly walking beside the Minister of Intelligence, “What is the meaning of this?”

“We have important news to announce.  Brother, may I have the floor?”

The unexpected request was answered affirmatively to do anything otherwise wouldn’t have changed what Thomas was expecting might happen.  Paul Marik walked up to the podium and inserted a data chip into the slot.  “I have found irrefutable evidence of something that I had long suspected.  This man,” Paul pointed to Thomas, “is not Thomas Marik but a COMSTAR double.” 

The DNA test results and a short archival video of the bombing of Janos Marik played, “The real Thomas Marik died in Thirty Thirty Five.  Since then the Primus of COMSTAR has been puppeting this doppelganger before us to fulfill their own ends.”

The collective gasp could be felt throughout the building but Thomas seemed unconcerned, “Do you deny it False Thomas?”

Thomas stood tall even though his age beaten frame fought him every centimeter.  “I deny that I am a COMSTAR puppet, Minister. 

Under my Captain-Generalship the Free Worlds League has seen unpreceded prosperity and security in uncertain times.  I have never compromised this Interstellar Empire at the wishes of COMSTAR and would never do so.  Everything done during my tenure has been my own idea and I have no intention of changing that anytime soon. 

I also deny that your brother is dead though I know not where he is.”

Paul looked back toward him his glasses settled low over the bridge of his nose, “So you admit that you are a fraud?”

“I admit that I am not Thomas Marik, call me Thomas Halas if it pleases you.  There is no blood tie associated with the Captain-Generalship and I have confidence that I can weather anything you wish to throw at me Paul. 

If you wish to depose me there are procedures for such things.  Call for an election.”

“I most certainly will do so.  As a Representative of Marik I call for an election to replace the current Captain-General as I no longer have confidence in his ability to lead.  Who will second this motion?”

Dozens of hands went up in support of a no-confidence vote in Thomas Halas.  “There the motion carries, I nominate my daughter Corrine, a true Marik, for the Captain-Generalship.  I call for an election to be conducted tomorrow morning at ten am.  Does this motion carry?”

Nearly every one of the Parliamentarians voted for that measure it was simpler than having to deal with another bloody coup against the Captain-General and his allies.

Captain-General Thomas Halas rang the gavel to settle the matter, “I am putting forward the motion to adjourn Parliament in the wake of these revelations.  Does the motion carry or should we do this election now?”

The motion carried and Thomas Halas hammered his last motion as Captain-General.  The following day even after a fiery speech Parliament split 47-53 against him and for Corrine Marik.  By noon Corrine was given the Captain-Generalcy and Thomas Halas was forced out of the halls of power but not off-world.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 13 September 2018, 14:19:00
Wow, that felt sudden. If the Word is in control of the HPG network, why wouldn't they be able to restore it since their likely ones who caused it in part.  They did in canon during the Jihad. 
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 15 September 2018, 21:24:15
Wow, that felt sudden. If the Word is in control of the HPG network, why wouldn't they be able to restore it since their likely ones who caused it in part.  They did in canon during the Jihad.

Well this time Loki not knowing what they had captured, sent the virus via the HPG network, and it might not have been WOB  see this story
11/09/3068 Location – Blackgate Fortress, Etienne’s Sanctuary (Sentarus), The Barrens
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 20 September 2018, 10:13:35
06/22/3068 06:42 Location –FWLS Olympic, Irian Zenith Point

Colonel Alys Rousett-Marik stood on the bridge of the Aegis FWLS Olympic as it breached through KF space, the bridge was still littered with debris from the battle to capture the Warship from the Word of Blake forces over Marik.  She picked up and stashed a flight of razor sharp flechettes that had embedded themselves in the paneling and now drifted loose after their latest round of maneuvering. 

Her own Sea Eagle needler pistol was slung across her chest, there were too many unknowns even around her own loyalist forces and no longer went unarmed.  The Comm Officer turned toward her, “We are being hailed Colonel, they think we are with the Word of Blake and are expecting us.  I’ve told them we are taking on supplies to combat the Third.”

She smiled, “Excellent, our intel was good then and the Word of Blake still hasn't fixed the HPGs.  I didn’t think we would be that lucky.  Time to send in the Marines.”

08:58 Location – Olympus IrTech Z Recharge Station

Colonel Rousett watched the view screen as the ten S7-A, a popular small space craft for cargo and personnel trasfers between Jumpships, Warships, and Space Stations, drifted silently toward the massive Recharge Station.  Each of the marines was rechecking their combat suits as well, the vacuum capable armor would protect them from most small arms and some of the environmental dangers of space, but not indefinitely, or at all if it was worn incorrectly. 

She looked toward Force Commander Antonin Farkas who was currently strapped in to the chair while they were maneuvering.  She watched carefully as she saw her own helmet’s reflection in his gold mirrored visor, “I’m not just seeing things Antonin. That is the Tirana right?”

The Zechetinu corvette was being tended by workers in EVA suits and their attendant small craft who were fixing damage sustained in the Battle of Atreus that saw the destruction of most of the FWLN loyalist by the Blakists.

The Force Commander looked at the view-screen momentarily dropping his pre-mission briefing, “Yes, Colonel, I thought it was headed back to Loyalty.  We should make her the priority target, I’d hate to see the Olympic blast it to pieces.”

“No we are going to keep our priorities straight Captain.  We can’t crew a Zec right now and use the Olympic’s guns.  That station needs to be ours or else the whole operation will suffer. 

The Commonwealth’s Third Fleet will be coming and they are going to make an awful mess of the place if we don’t get it first.”

“Understood Colonel, just thought we need all the help we can get against the Blakists.”

Alys held out her silvered Diverse Optics Type 60 Laser Rifle, ensuring its power cable would still clear her suit in tight environments and adjusting its stock, she returned it to the Velcro holder on her chest plate, “We do, but we have to pick our battles, enemies, and allies carefully.  I unfortunately can't afford to lose the few people we even have now.”

Antonin checked his rifle as well, unstrapping his suit from the chair as the yellow proximity light went on, “I’m glad I just have to shoot the bad guys Alys.  That sounds like the hard part.”

“Count yourself lucky Captain.  You don’t have your Uncle trying to kill you.”

“Figured you Mariks should be used to it by now.”

Alys just shook her head which only resulted in a small movement of the helmet.

A man’s voice came in over the PA of the empty cargo bay where twenty heavily armed marines (Espatiers), three support personnel, and Alys were strapped in, “Marines, this is the Olympic-One speaking, three minutes to docking.  Six minutes to repressurization.  Complete final checks now and unhook.  We’ll hold the way out open.”

Everyone could hear the docking clamps close over the S-7 for the final pull into one of the station's small craft cubes.  The marines worked their way toward their positions and everyone waited patiently while they repressurized the bay, weapons ready.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 20 September 2018, 13:31:30
07/10/3069 Location –Above Tamarind, Free Worlds League

The partially completely and heavily damaged Thera supercarrier FWLS Thessaly along with six other vessels are currently being tended by the Technicron Manufacturing Cageworks (The Nova Cat Transcendent Star and FWLS Leodegrance) were a stark contrast to the barren moon of Tamarind below.  The yard had launched the Impavido TCS Iron Bull which had headed right to the Taurian Concordat earlier in the year.  With no new orders in the system was empty of large warships and filled with friendlies.

“General Marik, sir.”

Photon Brett-Marik, last Commanding General of the 2nd SLDF turned away from the holotable to face the courier.  The past few years had aged him appreciably, dark spots hid in the corners of his eyes and soul, and his raven black hair had grayed more.  It was bad enough to be betrayed by the Combine nearly eighteen months ago only to fight his way clear into another betrayal at the hands of his own uncle Paul Marik.

Without the Nova Cat’s Transcendent Naval Star he might not have even gotten free this time.  Every night before he went to sleep he thanked his lucky stars that Thomas Halas had sent the Free Worlds League to support them in their hour of need.  He was so very fortunate that they felt fit to return the favor with interest.

Now he was leading a liberation of the Federated Commonwealth worlds captured in a flurry of brutal Blakist assaults while supporting his cousin Alys against their Uncle.  Paul was wasting good lives fighting a Fifth Succession War that didn’t need to be fought.  He felt Captain-General Corrine didn’t approve of her father’s measures but she was confined by her office to support the Word of Blake in their Jihad against the Clans and Commonwealth by fearful MPs. 

The Federated Commonwealth’s wrath would be dire and Photon knew enough that such a fight was futile and unnecessary.  The Kapetyn states couldn’t hold their gains especially with Katherine claiming three Clans in her corner.  The League’s only way out now was to stop the Blakists and hopefully spare more worlds their brutality before the nukes started falling again across the Inner Sphere. 

“Speak up Corporal.”

“General, Reinhardt received our message.  He’s pinned against Caledonia trying to break out but the whole of the Marik and Word of Blake Militias are occupying the Dixie Theater.  He has informed Son Hoa that we are friendly and in need of supply.  Additionally Admiral Haken has offered the Alberich Mobile Repair Yard, currently around Buena supporting their First Fleet to us if we require additional repairs or servicing.  Reinhardt said his father had an unusually high respect for you, for a Mari.
 He doesn’t blame us for his death now that he knows what the Word of Blake seems to have been planning all along.”

“That is the highest praise I have ever received from an Elsie.  At least Katherine saw fit to treat me with cold indifference.”

“Is there a return message General?”

“No that’s quite enough I think, it’s not like I can send anything quickly to him anyway with the HPGs still down.  Keep the Scout on stand-by in case I come up with something.”

The man saluted and walked out of the room leaving Photon with a face full of light from the War Table.  He looked over the status report of his Army of True Patriots currently resting up and rearming after fighting their way clear of Blakist allied forces to Tamarind for repairs.

“Thess status report”

A disembodied voice spoke into his earpiece as a holographic map of the vessel appeared, various critical systems were summarized in a bar graph and most of them were red,

“General Marik, this vessel is currently operating at thirty-three percent capacity.  Fighter Deck One is operational but only half the doors work, Fighter Deck Two was incomplete prior to launch.  KF booms three and four are non-functional attempts to dock a dropship to them will result in a mis-jump.  Grav Deck three is off-line, structural integrity is at forty percent.  Main Power Plant, Kearny-Fuchida core, and Lithium-Fusion batteries are optimal as are all external weapons although everything but missiles are at half load.  Crew staffing is below recommending levels but above minimums for capability.”

“So I’ve got a battleship that can’t take a punch or go the distance.  Just frakin’ great.” 

Photon looked at a picture of his uncle from dating back to when he was appointed Commanding General of the SLDF,
“Why did you do it Paul?
Do you really think we can win this fight? 
Because I don’t think we stand a chance and even if we manage to we’ll lose our souls and asses in the process.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 21 September 2018, 12:54:26
Author Insert

I am looking for feedback on the recent way I am writing this story out as there is so much going on and I can't get the detailed slower paced character drama I'm striving for.  I feel too much stuff is happening and my audience (and I) are having trouble keeping up. 

I'll try to bring the far flung characters back to some semblance of order but this is the Jihad we are talking about, and there is precious little order to be had sphere-wide.

Yvonne, Peter, and Devlin Stone will feature heavily in the next couple of entries so I'm hoping to keep a tighter lens but felt you needed an update
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Dave Talley on 21 September 2018, 21:32:24
doing great so far, but with a billion characters it gets sort of forced, you have a great job of not forcing it, it moves just fine overall
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 22 September 2018, 19:04:37
as long as you aren't just tossing in people for the named "stars" it has been good
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 23 September 2018, 12:25:45
Your doing fine!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 26 September 2018, 08:43:18
as long as you aren't just tossing in people for the named "stars" it has been good

I do try to have them all have some kind of role to play in the greater story.


06/30/3068 08:17 Location – Soapstone Mountains, Irian, Free Worlds League

Colonel Alys’ Rousett-Marik’s Apollo looked out over the Soapstone Mountains, one of the largest Battlemech factories in the Inner Sphere was inside.  Her force had pushed the surprised Blakists and confused Irian Security forces back to their fortifications.  The pitched battle continued as The Krushers, 1st Free Worlds Guards, and smaller Mercenary units hired out of Galatea pressed forward.  The air was thick with missiles, whizzing autocannon shells, and crackling man-made lightning from the company of Awesomes below.  The upper atmosphere was filled with dog fights between the security forces and her rebels as both attempted to gain Air Supremacy.

The last of the enemies fell back into their firing positions, Alys knew they would do that, unfortunately she didn’t have the time or people to break through the fortifications.  A Blakist Warship would eventually show up and realize there was a problem if she didn’t get through now.  There was no way they would blow up such a major factory and her forces could hold until the Commonwealth Fleet fought their way here after thrashing the Confederation.

Alys looked down at her Battlemech’s multi-function display zooming in a ridge where her recon choppers had identified the nearest strongpoints.  Her Purple and Black Apollo stood still on the ridge as its microwave transmitter opened up to send a message to the Olympic above.  “Captain Vedrick, prepare to fire on these coordinates.”

Above the Aegis heavy cruised FWLS Olympic’s gun crews rushed to their ready stations awaiting their firing solutions.  The broadside guns were pushed out of their protective cowlings and the smaller gun turrets were rotated into alignment.  Captain Vedrick stood silently as he heard the no neck hard charging Gunnery Officer count down their approach.  “5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  Guns are locked in position Captain, we are ready.”

“We are in position Colonel.”

A moment of delay felt like an eternity, he was about to fire weapons capable of leveling a city on a planet that was until a few months ago friendly.  From a Warship he stole from an old friend he known his entire life. 

Alys’ hard edged voice came in over the radio, Vedrick knew she appreciated the magnitude of the order she was about to issue, “Fire”

Back on the ground Colonel Marik watched with great trepidation, it was a legitimate use of a Warship’s immense firepower.  The people in those fortifications had made their choice but if she was wrong there was nothing but an executioner’s blade in her future.

She readied her battlemech for the imminent shockwave and hoped the other’s had done the same.  They had thirty seconds of warning, a stream of hellish shells crashed down on the hills creating massive craters of the hardened fortifications.  Pieces of Battemechs, grim gray ferrocrete, and natural brown from dirt and trees exploded raining down debris for hundreds of meters around the impact site. 

The shockwaves rippled leveling even more of the old growth forest the bunkers hid in and tearing apart anything in its wake.  The front line of her rebel force hadn’t fallen back soon enough and their multi-ton War Machines were knocked down and scattered like so many children’s toys.  The forces at work flaying armor and separating limbs from the unfortunate as they attempted to catch themselves.

When the cataclysm stopped all she could do was catch herself at the enormity of damage done with just one Warship’s broadside.  Some of her forces were attempting to rise while others lay still their pilots likely concussed if not worse.  For all their sophisticated technology and engineering Battlemechs were just toys in comparison to something like a Warship.  The battered moon field looked like a nuke had gone off and wiped out everything for a square kilometer, “My god.”

A message came in over the broad-wave, “Rebel Leaguers this is Precentor Navit of the Forty Seventh Shadow Division.  You may have broken through the line here but there are others and we will not allow you to seize them.  I'd rather see them burn because The Master wills it.”

Then a massive explosion rocked the zone creating an earthquake as an actual nuke was detonated deep underground.  Pieces of the Soapstone Mountains became rubble and were thrown high enough that the Aerospace fighters above had to leave the area due to damage wrought.

Alys watched as gravel fell down around her, clanging as it hit her cockpit’s armored cowling, “They didn’t."

The young woman was shaking with rage, she would have to keep fighting them down to the last man and never stop now, "You fanatics won’t stop until you burn everything to the ground and leave us nothing.
Just ashes, lies, and dust.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 26 September 2018, 11:04:13
06/15/3069 07:12 Location – Minette Metalworks Training Ground, Minette, Federation Outback

First Prince Peter and Grand Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion walked through the 1st Outback Legion’s HQ.  Yvonne’s hunch had been correct the Hellions had laid siege to Crofton they were not strong enough to get past its defenses or willing to bombard the facility from orbit.  Yvonne was wearing the Outback Legion khaki flight suit while Peter was wearing a dark blue mechwarrior’s uniform.  More Lyran than Federated Suns but his father’s features shone through and heartened the under-equipped Outback force about to do battle with a whole Clan, even if it was a small one.

Yvonne stopped him before they reached the MechBay, Peter had seen the latest dropship touch down on the already crowded field and knew it was something rushed in from New Avalon, “The Dauntless brought the thing I was hoping for.  Peter have you ever seen a Ryoken Omnimech?”

“No, However I’ve heard they are the most lethal Clan mech.  Assuming you believe the kill counts from the DCMS of course.  Not that their penchant for lighter troopers or heavier cavalry mechs has given them anything but trouble over the centuries.”

“Yes, well it is one of the finer designs and I was going to have a line commissioned to manufacture our, albeit inferior copy still it is a fine machine and the Light Guards and Armored Cavalry have been testing it extensively.  The prototypes had to go to war but Banzai made this one by hand with some Clan tech they had lying around thrown in.  It’s right through here.  Project callsign is FENNEC.”

“Hey you’ve been in a military longer than I have, is that the worst callsign you’ve ever heard?”

Peter shook his head, “No, no it’s not.  Not by a longshot.”

Yvonne keyed the restricted bay open, the Mech Bay was buzzing with activity as Mech Techs ensured that everything had been repaired and would be operating optimally before their job just became patchwork.  Two Battlemechs were still cradled in their carrying rigs nearest their door currently surrounded by mech techs ensuring they made the trip in good repair. 

One a Jet Black Battlemaster and another was a low profile primer coated walker with an over-under gun arrangement for arms, it looked sleek and deadly but not like anything Peter had seen before.

“Wait is that dad’s Battlemaster?”
“Yes, we need everything Peter.  It is fast for its size but a bit under-armed to take against the Hellions.  It’s been sitting in mothballs since…”

Peter embraced his sister before she began to cry patting her gently, “I know I miss him too.  Him, Mom, Victor, Arthur, you.  Even Katherine, I can’t know what you’ve all gone through since I left but I’m going to try and make it up to you. 

Hopefully Katherine will understand that I don’t want to fight her for this.  However I won’t sit around and wait for her agents to come for me if she doesn’t.  I’d rather face down the Hellions.”

That brought more tears from Yvonne, “I’m sorry Yvonne. I shouldn’t have mentioned it.  I never meant to ruin your happiness by returning.  It was part of the reason I left you know that, but we are here together now and I won’t abandon you or anyone else ever again.

Let’s move to a less difficult topic, what does this FENNEC do?”

“Well this one is a little unique, all the models weight fifty five tons and can reach 97 kilometers per hour on flat ground, armed with two of the Improved PPCs that weigh slightly less than the original but are otherwise identical.  To take up the remainder of the weight it has a pair of Clan small pulse lasers rather than the normal mediums and paired Clan anti-missile systems along with a Guardian ECM. 

According to intel reports the Hellions like missiles and due to Katherine’s ‘special relationship’ with the clans over the years their AMS and its ammo can be made right here in the Suns.  Kallon on Panpour is turning out as many as possible to retrofit onto existing designs.  Generals Singh and Marsdin have priority supply due to proximity but the Legions are right behind them.”

“How are they doing down there?  I haven’t seen the latest reports there were other things that required my attention this morning.”

“They are holding the Taurians in place and raiding when they can but the Blakist Forty Sixth Shadow Division continues to stiffen the Concordat’s invasion force.  There are mixed reports of atrocities on both sides but we can’t verify anything.  I fear what will happen to those border worlds, the Taurians are not known for their self-control.”

“With any luck they will just be rumors that will be disproven later even if they cause lingering resentment.  Those two are solid battlefield commanders I trust that they will continue to ensure the Taurians stay off Federated Suns worlds.  Regardless the Hellions need to be dealt with.  The Victor Steiner-Davion was due to arrive this morning with the others, yes?”

Yvonne pulled her noteputer out and put it on a bare metal table nearby she had to do some work before maneuvers today, “Yes, Big Brother is here.  It’s like the strangest family reunion ever but seems so right.”

Peter bowed his head slightly in memory of his older brother and the ship that was now as far as they knew his only legacy, “Agreed, I hope he has better luck this time.”

Yvonne looked at a background picture of her noteputer.  The family together on New Avalon during one of the maybe the only times they were united, “Me too Peter, me too.”

Aboard the Avalon cruiser FCS Victor Steiner-Davion

Commander Devlin Stone and Captain Marcus Roth stood side by side on the bridge looked at the serene world below and the gathering flotilla of Warships that now orbited it.  Both men and their ship were war wearied but they followed orders and headed out toward the Outback knowing full well what they were getting into.  The quick stop at Chirikof to replenish their missile magazines had been the only rest this crew had received in the nearly two years that started with the Blakist assault of New Avalon.  Since then they had been run longer than the normal six month deployment with the back-up crews being rushed to fill voids throughout the fleet.

Devlin turned toward his Captain, “A McKenna, two Cruisers, five destroyers, and three corvettes?”
“Can we bring those down with this flotilla?  This isn’t a Mjolrnir.”
“Aye that it ain’t Commander but we have to do it.  We just need to get creative.  No Clan Fleet is going to save us on the opposite side of the Galaxy.”

Quatre Belle Naval Yards, Quatre Belle, Outworlds Alliance

The QBNY orbited all three of the moons of the planet as well as the Zenith and Nadir Yards. Formerly all but a derelict until last year when the Snow Ravens trialed for and were granted the rights to refurbish it and resettle their civilian castes into the Outworlds Alliance.  President Mitchell Avellar saw them as an excellent insurance policy to protect his small realm from an increasingly dangerous Inner Sphere especially as the Combine continued to spiral into civil war that threatened to return it to their old aggressive ways. 

All of the berths were occupied with Snow Raven vessels undergoing heavy repairs and refurbishment.  The Alliance lacked much of the complex infrastructure they required so schedules would have to be adjusted.  The secret arrangement would have to remain so lest the Combine or Commonwealth attempt to take advantage of the weakened state of their once prized fleet.  The harrowing trip down the Exodus Road saw large portions of it destroyed or damaged at the hands of the Steel Vipers and their allies.  Fortunately the Ravens had saved most of their civilian castes and damaged the Lum yards to deny the Snakes anything for their treachery.

Khan Lynn McKenna sat in her office aboard the Nightlord Battleship Snow Raven enthralled by the bioluminescent plankton in the oceans of the planet below.  A message popped up on her console a scouting report from the Outworld’s Wastes, lost colonies that might still hold resources of interest to the scavenger Ravens and perhaps speed up their recovery.

Her eyes read through the initial synopsis quickly, she placed her fist under her chin, “Now that is interesting.  So they did make it here after all.  Sneaky little bastards.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 01 October 2018, 13:32:28
07/05/3069 Location- Outback Legion HQ, Minette, Federation Outback

Grand Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion lifted off with squadron the angry insectoid Donar attack helicopters buzzing over the expansive country estate that served as the Outback Legion’s Headquarters.  Her chopper banked northwest toward the firing range and overflew the staging area for the upcoming assault.  The Starport was a never ending ballet, it had been working overtime 24/7 for the past month as Battlemechs and Armor were loaded into dropships.  Cranes off-loaded supply containers from trains to the tan and gray supply trucks which then motored into more dropships.  From her vantage point several hundred meters in the air it looked magnificently ordered even though on the ground it might be a different story.

“Entering the combat area now Major.”  Said her co-pilot sitting behind her in a tandem arrangement, Yvonne was currently serving as the weapons officer in the lower bubble while Nikki was piloting and managing communications with their fellow helicopters. 

Yvonne engaged the 'Evil Eye' targeting systems in her helmet which made the laser turret and eight missiles alongside to follow her green eyes to the target.  A series of arrows marked their targets for the day, ancient Scorpion tank hulls watched by ground side observers.  The strength of the Donar squadron was rapid accurate fire anywhere in the battlefield. Even when she only had a lesser Redtail or Hawk Moth Yvonne was a crack shot, with a Clan tech sight and laser she was unstoppable.

She put the zoomed in sight over the target, “time to light him up” An invisible pulse of laser burned a hole right through the tattered armor, the edges were incandescent red with the heat caused.  “Swing me closer, let’s finish him off.  Then come back for another round.”

“Roger that” she heard through the helmet’s built in comm rig.  The Donar tilted forward and both rotors increased in pitch as Nikki gave it more power from the fusion engine in the back.  The rest of the squadron did the same the chopper wash sounding like a swarm of angry bees except these ones were capable of tearing down an isolated Battlemech from afar.  Each then fired off their missiles and continued on banking for their secondary targets. 

They continued until they ran out of ammunition each pair of co-pilots knew what they were getting into.  The Hellions would not underestimate the threat posed by their choppers and they had their own and knew how to use them better.

Yvonne was in the women’s showers when the message came in over the public address, “All personnel, incoming KF blooms at the pirate point.  Battle stations.”  She rushed into the command room with her hair still wet and nothing on under her tan flight suit.  Peter was there as well and looked at the slight skin showing on her shoulder bemused, “At least you zipped up sis.”

“Even that almost didn’t happen Peter.  What’s going on?”

“Not sure.  We still have a few moments before whatever is coming works their way through KF-space.  Then the boom can tell us.  ‘The Black Prince’
(The name of both Hanse Davion’s Battlemaster and an Overlord) is on standby just outside.”

They waited the tense moments while the deep space RADAR team interpreted the data, “Three warships, Congress, Sovetski, Vincent.  No IFF.  The VDS has attempted to hail them Your Highness.”

“I’m just a Colonel here Ensign.  I can’t be First Prince until the Council agrees and we don’t want to make more trouble by contacting them just yet.  I have enough people gunning for me already.”

“Roger sir, Incoming downlink from the Sovetskii.  Package IDs it as WDS Athena.” 

The Communications Officer turned and faced the royals, as did the rest of the command staff, “It’s the Dragoons sir”

Peter and Yvonne stood up a little bit straighter at the mention of that name, the legendary Wolf Dragoons had gone missing more than a year ago.  Their planet granted to them by his father a smoldering radioactive ruin with no sign of their Warships or survivors everyone expected them to stay gone.  “Ensign direct it to Briefing Room B.”

“Yes sir”

Yvonne and Peter rushed to the room and closed the door behind them.  A static picture of a woman in her late 30s with black hair, hazel eyes, and a grizzled face was in front of the Dragoon’s crest appeared on their screen. The picture turned to real time broadcast with a slight delay as their own camera blinked red for recording, “Grand Duchess Yvonne I am General Maeve Wolf, currently in Command of the surviving Wolf Dragoons.  I apologize for coming without informing you prior.” 

The woman raised her eyebrow as the picture in picture showed Yvonne in mild undress and Peter the handsome red haired man together, “I hope I was not interrupting anything.”

Peter attempted to speak but Yvonne interrupted him, “No you were not.  Your presence puts me slightly at ease General.  I heard about Outreach, MIIO and the TNGB have sent their reports which don’t currently implicate anyone.  I would very much like to know what happened, it was quite the mess there.”

“The Word of Blake sponsored mercenaries to turn on us and brought in a Warship squadron to make sure the job was done.  Two regiments managed to fight their way off and we linked back up with Delta on Buckminster.  The Combine is in ruins and we no longer trust your sister so we are here to offer our services.  Wolfnet had informed me of chatter regarding Hellions.”

“Yes General.  We were just about to set out to Crofton in order to stop them.  Why don’t you stop by we can talk terms.”

“I would very much like that.  Have a good evening Your Grace.”
  The screen winked out and the red light stopped recording the two of them.

Peter sighed, “What a relief to have the Dragoons on our side.  The Hellions won’t stand a chance now.”

Yvonne grabbed a nearby encrypted noteputer slipping a data disk into its drive before typing furiously.  “I’m not so sure Peter.  It’s too convenient there is no way we could hide this build up so they know something is up.  Anyone can broadcast a wrong IFF and we know someone who has old Star League Warships.”

“Who?  The Blakists?”

“Yes Peter.  Look at this.”
  Yvonne cast the noteputer’s screen to the projector.  A TOP SECRET report addressed to Major Nikolai Vasiliev (Operative:  ROMEO) of the TNGB filled the screen.  Dated to just before the HPGs went down it contained a detailed analysis of the Attack on Outreach from the Bureau complete with suspected casualty lists and ONI hacked Dragoon databases most of which were woefully incomplete due to the damage done.  Can’t count bodies that were turned to ash by a nuclear weapon. 

Among them were the Wolf Spider Battalion, commanded by Maeve Wolf.  Human remains were DNA IDed near the site where Jamie Wolf’s Archer, a Thunderbolt with a serial number matching her issued ride, and Wayne Waco’s Battlemaster lay in the toxic ruin of Harlec.

Peter walked up to the screen in amazement, “Your dead boyfriend still gets reports? I have to admit if we didn’t have this there is no way I would think these Dragoons are Blakists.  However, now we do.  I am going to come up with a plan in case you’re right.”

“You go do that Peter.  I have to talk to an old friend.”  Peter walked out to call a meeting of the War Council to celebrate the fact that the legendary Wolf Dragoons were in orbit and suss out whether any of the Senior Officers of the Legion might be ROM that would betray what they knew to their handlers currently en route.

Yvonne looked through the directory and requested the next shuttle transit to the Victor Steiner-Davion currently coming into alignment overhead.  It left in four minutes just enough time for her to put a shirt on under the flight suit but not much more.  Yvonne sat down in the ST-46’s passenger bay next to the Avalon cruiser crew that were given a day of liberty before having to return to work. Her stomach grumbled, “I hate navy food but I can’t put it on the wave.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 03 October 2018, 09:40:17
07/07/3069 Location – Near Space Orbit, Minette, Federation Outback

Commander Devlin Stone of the 144st Commonwealth Marines floated ever closer to the Sovetskii Soyuz WDS Athena or perhaps a Blakist copy of such.  The rest of the 5th Fleet Marines assigned to the Warships in orbit did the same.  Some joined him on this vessel’s pressure hull while the others were attaching themselves to the other two suspect Warships.  They had no trouble finding purchase on the hulls.  Each of which was rent in many places from combat damage or wear and tear they had recently seen battle.  His Zero-G maneuvering jets puffed slowly as his magnetized boots hit.  He absorbed the impact with his knees and using the spotlights and battle claw gripped one of the many outside recessed handles designed for maintaining the vessel.  His suit could sustain him for twelve hours in space but he hoped he didn’t have to wait that long.

Devlin triggered the point to point laser transmitter and broadcast the prearranged signal that informed the massive Avalon cruiser FCS Victor Steiner-Davion floating silently above Minette’s night side that he was on board.  They sent the all clear, Captain Roth had missiles in the tubes already aimed in the direction of the Athena in case this was a Blakist ploy.  Stone hoped that Yvonne’s suspicions were incorrect but he couldn’t doubt them, there had already been three attempts on her life in the past year and many more disrupted by MIIO and the Marshals.  The Commonwealth was under attack on all fronts and there needed to be an abundance of caution.

Minette Military Starport

A large spheroid Lion dropship identified as WDS Brian Cameron set down on the gray ferrocrete.  Its thrusters burning bright against the coming dusk. The ancient dropship was one of the signature types in the Dragoon’s forces but was also widely manufactured during the Star League Era.  Yvonne’s greeting party waited till the tarmac was cool before approaching the vessel.  The air around them still filled with warm fog from the suppression water that had blunted the thermonuclear fire from the dropship. 

Dressed in her tan combat flight suit Yvonne still managed to look regal having braided her short auburn hair in the latest style.  Flanking her were a squad of Marshals their coyote brown Imperator Autorifles ready in case something went wrong.  A lance of 1st Outback Legion Roughneck Battlemechs and Pilum Missile Carriers were close behind.  The distinct whine of an Anhur VTOL was audible nearby with the other VTOLs and Conventional fighters that used this starport as their base in the distance.

General Maeve Wolf walked down the ramp wearing the Wolf Dragoon’s formal uniform, dark blue with blood red stripping on the ends.  A black clad squad bearing the markings of the feared Seventh Kommando wielding laser rifles also disembarked from the narrow ramp.  “Is that how you greet a business acquaintance Grand Duchess?”

Yvonne kept tight control over her voice, “It is when they show up unannounced via a pirate point with three Warships and seven Dropships over my planet during a time of war.  General”

Maeve seemed annoyed with the tone, “It’s not like I could send an HPG ahead of time considering they don’t seem to work anymore.  I apologize about the pirate point we were in a bit of a hurry.  Regardless here we are.”

Maeve bowed slightly, “The Wolf’s Dragoons are at Your Grace’s service, for the right price of course.” 

She looked at the Marshals gathered around Yvonne as they maintained their distance, “I would prefer we negotiate in private.  Why don’t you just let the boys go?”

“I prefer to not travel alone.  These are dangerous times but certainly somewhere private would be ideal.  Would you like to take the fast way,” Yvonne pointed to a gray Anhur VTOL currently en route to the Starport, “or the slow way?”  She pointed toward a Limo nearby bearing the Grand Duchess’ flag.

Maeve looked back with one eye toward the Kommandos, “What of my men?
“One can join us.  No weapons though.  The rest can ride in a van behind, mine will do the same.”
“I’m not in a hurry Grand Duchess.  I would like the time to talk.”
“Of course General Wolf, surely you have many things to say.  Let’s go then before we are caught out in the dark.”

Yvonne and Maeve both walked toward the Limo with one of the Marshals and a Kommando following shortly behind while getting a door for them.  Yvonne looked toward the Dragoon General, “I’ll take you to Headquarters so you know what you are getting into.”

Maeve sat cross-legged on the plush Limo’s interior, “Oh yes, I should very much like to know who I’m about to deal with.  Surprises can get so messy.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 10 October 2018, 09:10:51
The Headquarters of the Outback Legions, the so called “Red House” was lit and patrolled by a lance of Battlemechs and platoon of Armored Infantry.  Marshals and MIIO were interspersed into the support staff to hopefully prevent infiltration by hostile powers.  The 1st Outback Legion and associated units were now working around the clock to bring TASK FORCE:  ICEBLOCK online before their impending battle against the Hellions.

The limo pulled into the loop and off-loaded their passengers before returning to its subterranean parking garage.  Grand Duchess/Hauptmann Yvonne Steiner-Davion and General Maeve Wolf stopped talking a flight of Hawk Moth VTOLs passed through the area on their way to the firing range.  “You have a large number of attack helicopters Your Grace, unusual for a Suns Unit.”

Yvonne pointed to the Air Cavalry wings on her combat uniform, “I guess my patronage of Michaelson is finally paying off.  Ever since I became an Air Cavalry officer pilot recruitment has increased fivefold.

As you may know Hellions have something they call a ‘flurry’ cluster that consists of fast hovercraft and helicopters sometimes carrying armored infantry to take and hold and area before heavier forces arrive.  Based on reports they are very effective.  I suppose it would be considered prescient that we have something that can compete on the same level.”

Yvonne walked alongside Maeve as they took the stairs in pairs, “You never told me what kind of forces you have remaining General. 

I feel we should start with that before continuing the negotiation.  As you can see I have many different forces active throughout the Federated Suns, my March Militia is sturdy enough to fight against our lesser foes but the Confederation and Combine continue to press their assaults. 

You probably would have gotten a better pay check aiding the Draconis March rather than come all the way here.  Tancred is a bit overwhelmed as he didn’t expect the Combine to turn on him so quickly.  He’s had to pull the scant few Crucis March militias not currently aiding George.  Hell you could have just gone to Arc-Royal and joined Phelen's wolves for access to their tech. 

Why choose the harder assignment for less pay?”

General Wolf took a moment to reply, “For access to Clan salvage of course.  With Outreach gone we need another source of supply.  The Hellions likely have access to production facilities.”

They passed through the door opened by a pair of Legionaries, “Well you better have another two Regiments of Dragoons and three warships if that is your price.”

They finally settled on a small briefing room overlooking the command center as the Marshals and Kommandoes waited outside, “I think you will find my Regiment is quite capable of achieving the objective.  We are the Dragoons after all.”

Yvonne settled into a padded conference chair and motioned to Maeve who did the same, “Of course, how could I forget?  Let’s talk about your objective.”

The holotable came to life and the Taurian Ministry of Intelligence file on Yvonne Steiner-Davion (Codename - RED QUEEN) appeared on the screen with ten passages bolded for assassination attempts against her.  General Wolf was un-phased but the harsh blue light of the hollow sharply illuminated Yvonne's face, “Who are you really?”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 10 October 2018, 09:23:17
Woah.  That sudden turn of events.  I'm serious liking this.  I love the Red Queen code name.  ;D
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 10 October 2018, 13:22:17
Woah.  That sudden turn of events.  I'm serious liking this.  I love the Red Queen code name.  ;D

I needed some more drama, makes sense though if you think about it. The TMI file for Katherine is unimaginatively WHITE QUEEN and since the WOBBies are now hand in glove with the Taurians someone has to get a victory and killing a Princess is a perfect opportunity to change their fortunes.  Adds more drama to the eventual fight on the Hellions if Yvonne/Peter's forces have to fight off a Shadow Division first.


The holotable’s blue light reflected into the features of ‘Maeve Wolf’  “I don’t know what this is about Your Grace.  I thought we were talking about fighting the Ice Hellions.”

“No one ever said they were the Ice Hellions, not even themselves.  I didn’t even know of their existence till three years ago.  Drop the act imposter. The Dragoons are dead I saw the report.  I’ve already given the order to board your ships and the fighters are on the way up.  You knew too much in the limo for someone who’s been out of the loop for a year.”

The woman began to clap slowly, keeping her eyes focused intently on Yvonne. “Bravo, I figured you wouldn’t be fooled, had told my Precentor as much, but I’m still close enough.”  In the light Yvonne saw a glint of metal and rolled to the side as a previously hidden knife zinged past her head, thrown underhanded but unerringly accurate.  The blade embedded itself in the chair but only cut a few stray auburn hairs instead of going through her green eyes.

She landed with her pistol already drawn and fired toward where her attacker had been a moment ago.  An axe kick from the woman perched on the table came toward her, Yvonne just barely evading the attack but she could feel the impact through the floor.

Yvonne came up blocking the door as the alarm triggered, things were thus far going as she expected.  The harsh sounds of assault rifles and men in pain could be heard on the other side of the door.  That was good the enemy had laser rifles which meant her people were still fighting.

The other woman was inside the hologram now, disrupting the transmitter in the ceiling, her body low and ready to leap like some primal beast, knife once more in her grasp. “I am called Lilith.”

Yvonne kept her pistol trained on the woman ever cautious to the threat, “One of the Poltergeists?”
“You are remarkably well informed for a frail.”
“I always was a quick study.  Lilith.  As you know the TMI was not the best organization to collaborate with.  My sister and I have moles almost everywhere inside.”
“Well if you know so much.  You certainly know that feeble pistol is not likely to hurt me and that there is no escape for you from now on, one of us will get you even if I should fail.”

She moved slowly gun up and Lilith followed, “Well I intend to be a hard bitch to kill, already had my fair share of near death experiences. As for my gun I guess it depends where my ten mills hit then.”

The pistol fired again aimed toward the women’s head destroying the flat panel view-screen behind.  Yvonne dodged and wove evading her attacker’s blade before sliding across the table.  With a practiced motion her gun was reloaded and firing again before the empty mag hit the floor.  Missed rounds spider-webbed the glass that led to the empty control center and embedded themselves into the concrete of the walls. 

Soldiers from the 1st Minette Mechanized Rifles burst through the door with their rifles ready. Yvonne ducked under the table to get out of the line of fire.  Six Zeus Heavy Rifles leveled on Lilith with a pair of Heavy Riflemen carrying Thunderstroke Gauss Rifles right behind, the massive rail gun held in a harness so it could be safely fired by a single trooper.  Yvonne’s pistol was dwarfed by the firepower from these eight infantrymen and so was the Poltergeist, the 13mm rounds could kill battle armor given enough time. Lilith looked at the squad momentarily taking her eyes of her target, muttering “Futuo Skyla” under her breath

“Don’t move!”
“Or what?”
  She smiled as she raised her hands, “You’ll shoot?”  Lilith kicked a concealed micro-grenade their way.  The potato shaped explosive rolled toward the troopers as she sprinted to the heavy glass window.  The infantry jumped away but fired and the room was filled with a concussive blast that deafened Yvonne on the other side of the room and dazed the troopers while inflicting minor burns.

Once they came to their senses Yvonne rushed to the window careful to avoid the broken glass.  She saw blood on the bottom of the sill and the effects of the assassin on a broken desk below but no sign of her.  One of the troopers carefully looked down as well, Yvonne turned to the man, “Find her!  I’m getting to my chopper.  Things are about to get much louder around here.” 
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 10 October 2018, 20:34:18
Wow, the timid Yvonne of canon is no more!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 11 October 2018, 13:14:50
Wow, the timid Yvonne of canon is no more!

That girl died almost six years ago on page 2 of Katherine White Wolf of Ragnarok when Bishop Sortek deposed her with his coup and was reborn on page 4 after going to Point Barrow (literally the roughest Military Academy in the Federated Commonwealth besides maybe Blackjack).  She just hasn't gotten a chance to be awesome until now.


Yvonne ran out of the building into the humid night air, a mild fog had settled around the area but visible was still good.  She ran past ordered infantry and armor crews getting to their muster stations.  Upon reaching the tarmac she stopped to watch a squadron of Assault Helicopters {Hawk Moths, Warrior Vs (cLB-5X), and Donars} lift off.  Their dark shapes looked and sounded like a swarm of angry bugs as they banked flying low and fast toward the rising moon and impeding battle.

Her own squadron was just coming up to speed. The reflective vests of the ground crews visible as they separated to prepare the next squadron.  Her flight helmet’s communication headset was blaring with command phrases, “Get me chopper backup,” being one of the more repeated from at least three different engagement sectors.  The 46th had broken through in multiple places and was causing serious damage to the few remaining stockpiles of materiel for Operation:  ICEBLOCK, supplies that had taken months to gather blown apart in minutes.

Blakist Hovertanks were the worst nightmare for her forces and the 46th had seen fit to bring a number of them along for their surprise attack.  Most of the Legion’s equipment was second rate even if the personnel were top notch.  The Legionaires’ LB-X autocannons could do a number on the fragile skirmish tanks but they had to hit first which was hard enough against a slower Battlemech or Main Battle Tank but nearing impossible against a skilled hovercraft pilot.  It had been the focus of their latest rounds of training but that didn’t mean they could do it reliably yet. 

The only thing in the Outback Legions capable of catching their hovercraft were her helicopters.  The Helicopters that still had to support the rest of the defense force.  Good thing they are fast.  Yvonne jogged across the slick ground, “Dress rehearsal for hell just like Jenkins said at Point Barrow.  Hellions or Shadows doesn’t matter.”

Halfway across the tarmac she dodged a group of coyote brown Pintel ATVs.  Each of the wheeled vehicles carried a squad of heavily armed and grim faced Legionnaires on the skids in addition to the Barret 20mm Autocannon in the turret, the three barrels were already spinning which meant the enemy was closer than she thought.  Their big wheels screeched as the vehicles banked toward the spaceport and sped up. 

Bright fires and white phosphorous flare rounds were alarmingly close and the concussive sound of explosions and cannon fire carried on the wind.  She could see the bright white thruster plume of the Blakist Dropships heading toward that area, they intended for this to be an ambush just to kill her. Any collateral damage was extra but nothing seemed to be going according to anyone’s plans today.

As she neared the Donar Yvonne felt a sharp sting as the tarmac splintered around her, followed by a muzzle report,“Merde!”  She dove for one of the airfield’s muddy partition trenches, drew her sidearm, and stayed low.  Her drab flight suit concealed her in the grass as she looked back at the base to see a lone figure, Lilith, wielding a M42 Assault Rifle.  She had changed into a Legionaires’ uniform and was wearing a helmet and body armor just like everyone else.  Yvonne looked at the pistol in her hands and around for assistance but everyone was busy.  A single riflewoman wouldn’t draw any attention in the middle of an active warzone.  “I’m flattered with the attention but you need to take a hint.  suka”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 11 October 2018, 17:20:23
Yvonne continued to lay there for a moment watching Lilith advanced closer to her.  She heard the distinctive sound of a Warrior V taking off and remembered there was only one of those choppers in her squad.  She keyed the radio on local low power channels, “Renegade-Actual to Renegade-Three”

A women's voice came in over the radio, the distinctive sound of rotor-blades filtered out but unmistakable, “What is it Red?  Why aren't you up here yet?”
“Molly I need you to shred someone near Pad Six.”

Molly's voice wavered but came through clear, “Affirmative,” The Warrior's rotor pitch changed as it pirouetted in the sky nearby to face Pad Six.  “Awaiting target.  Everyone looks the same down there.”

Yvonne reached into her thigh pouch and pulled out a small disk, “I'm tossing a strobe.  Group it tight, I'm in the trench nearby.”  She tapped the center button and saw the red indicator light.  Less than a moment later she lifted up and tossed it toward Lilith before immediately diving deeper into the trench as the assassin fired the rifle at full auto towards her. 

One of the bullets hit her helmet causing it to tear off and skitter to a halt on the pad.  The whizz of the 57mm canister shell fired from the Warrior followed by the sound of LB-X sub-munitions hitting the ground was overwhelming.  By the time Yvonne thought it was done and looked up she regretted it.  Nothing but hamburger meat was left were the Manei Domini assassin had once stood.

Yvonne waved to the Attack Helicopter which turned and continued toward its way-point.  She turned toward the remains, pointing her gun toward the corpse chunks, "That enough gun for you," Yvonne holstered her pistol back into the chest harness she was wearing before recovering her helmet. 

She jogged toward her Donar finally joining her co-pilot who had been impatiently waiting for her arrival.  She flipped down the sight to the Clantech ER Large Laser and pair of quad Short Range Missile launchers, the fog and darkness lifted as the thermal sight engaged turning everything into black and white.  “My turn”


Less than ten miles away Specter Precentor Omicron Ipos released his Bone White Avatar Omnimech from the docking clamps as his Lion dropship WOBS Grace in Destiny touched down.  Grand Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion had become the rallying cry to the battlefields on the Taurian Frontier.  Even with the Commonwealth engaging literally everyone else in the Inner Sphere at the same time the TDF was still stalemated and needed a major victory to rally.

That and her sister was culpable for the collapse of the Second Star League and that was bad enough without the Clan treachery.  If only he had killed Hanse Davion on his first combat deployment nearly forty years ago.  The man had caused more damage in his death than his life which had seen the deaths of millions throughout the Inner Sphere.  His spawn were certainly at least a magnitude more impactful.

The bay door opened and as he stepped off Ipos watched as a Level II of Hovertanks buzzed past his feet, his squad of white Longinus armor attached to their anchor points to augment his firepower.  They had their objectives and he had his.  Ensure Yvonne Steiner-Davion finally dies then push through and break the back of the Outback Legion. 

His 46th Shadow Division was outnumbered but their equipment and personnel were unmatched by almost anything else in the Inner Sphere, all of his soldiers were veterans or trained directly under veterans of the Clan Wars.  Some were even former Federated Suns soldiers that defected to the Word of Blake after Katherine had seized the Archon-Princedom during the Regent's War and resulting purge. 

They would do anything to spite her and avenge their fallen Messiah in her brother.  Their original point of existence had been to kill the Clans of Kerensky on their own home-worlds.  Before that could happen they were re-tasked by The Master and forced to make a U-turn to ensure the fabled Third Transfer still occurred where humanity would finally realize the truth of Blessed Blake's words.

As he pressed toward the Target Location though his targeting computer picked up an unusual reading.  A black Battlemaster with a crisp First Prince's Emblem right on it's chest was leading a reinforced company currently holding a strategic bridge across the wide Highcrest River.  The burned out husks of Legionnaire battlemechs were fewer than those of his Lions.  Disabled and fiery hover tank wrecks floated on the river like burning leaves. Billowing white steam from the still active fusion power plants emanated as some sank into the coursing river.

“Could it be?”  His cybernetic implants enhanced the image, the lines were unmistakable though the unit had been recently modernized.  The serial number on the Battlemech matched the one burnt into his memory.  “That is Hanse Davion's Battlemaster.  I still recognize it after all these years.”

Ipos opened a Point-to-Point Microwave transmission to the Battlemaster, “This is Specter Ipos, Precentor Commander of the Forty Sixth Shadow Division.  You who pilot Hanse Davion's Battlemaster.  Who are you?”

The Battlemaster identifying the source of the transmission turned towards him.  The wrist mounted PPC on its right arm pointed his way, “Spector Ipos. I am the First Prince, Peter Steiner-Davion...and you are a dead man.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: snakespinner on 12 October 2018, 01:26:57
Oops, bad intell.
Someone forgot to mention to Specter Ipos obout Peter being on planet.
Now who will be visiting the nice new re-education camp. >:D :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 12 October 2018, 08:11:29
Ipos cursed in High Dominus.  He knew the Word’s ROM operatives in this region had been tasked with higher priority targets than the Grand Duchess or her hardscrabble Outback Legions.  Still how had their spies not known that Peter Steiner-Davion had returned? 

His disappearance was one of the great unsolved mysteries in the Inner Sphere.  An heir of the mighty Federated Commonwealth had just disappeared within a week.  Most Mu analysts he had consulted assumed that either Katherine or Victor had him killed after Katherine’s own near assassination on Solaris VII {ROM and MIM knew about the second attempt but few others did.  Not even Victor who failed to read the follow up report just giving it to (his/Emma’s Mentat *cough) Curatis to review} but it didn’t fit based on their behavior afterwards.

This dramatically changed his objective but at the same time didn’t; one more life sacrificed to the greater good was a small price to pay for the enlightenment of Mankind.  “It is a pleasure to meet you First Prince Peter.  Destiny surely calls at me to see ‘The Black Prince’ at the beginning and end of my service to Blessed Blake’s Order.”

“What are you talking about?”
“I just barely missed your father’s cockpit when my unit attacked New Avalon so many years ago.  I’ve only gotten faster since then, courtesy of the Order.”
“Well I’m not my father and I highly doubt it old man.”

Ipos paged through the command interface linked to his mech’s communications package.  Pulling an entire Level III that had already gotten past the river toward his position.  “This one might still be saved; I want him alive if possible.  Kill the girl, she’ll be nothing but a menace.”

Adept Vetrik formerly of the Davion Lights Guards watched the Highcrest River turn into a fine mist behind his Stygians and Regulators as they raced toward the Precentor Commander.  A squadron of attack helicopters were following far behind but the mist and his hovercraft’s high speeds and evasive maneuvers interfered with their thermal targeting sights. 

Pockets of steam from laser misses and eruptions from cannon or missile fire interrupted the glass smooth surface of the water ahead of them.  Occasionally one of the hovercraft would fire back but the helo’s aerobatics and speed made things difficult. 

Hitting another fast mover while traveling at a high rate of speed is much like hitting one bullet with another.  Still there were a few hits on either side but none seemed willing to waste all their ammo on fruitless engagements.  They were there for when his tanks had to slow down and engage other targets in formation then they would strike.  Being a hover-tank squadron commander was all about accepting risk and still heading into it at reckless speed.

So when the helicopter squadron broke off before he reached his objective at the bridge he was suspicious.  His drive came in over their internal net, “They are disengaging Adept.  Do we continue?”

Vetrik watched the helicopters fly away from his command optics in disbelief, “Yes, the Precentor gave us an order.  Continue at flank speed to the target.”

They continued on for a short while before seeing a flash from the sky as a squadron of Drake Jump Bombers passed overhead after letting their deadly cargoes fly before banking off.  Each one dropping a quartet of bombs that broke apart in mid-air before dispersing a dozen smaller bombs.  Vetrik watched in slow motion as they flitted in the air like seeds on the wind before exploding near the ground and ripping into his Stygian’s hover-skirts and armor.  His hovercraft were fast but it was still nothing near even conventional fighter-bombers.

All of the Blakist hovertanks were mauled by the cluster bombs some worse than others.  He watched as a Regulator floated on the water for a moment before capsizing and submerging itself with only the bottom of its torn skirts breaking the surface.  His own engine whined as it struggled to maintain pressure underneath the torn skirts.   

The ground effect that gave the tank its potent maneuverability had been lost in an instant.  Now it was effectively a sitting target where once it had been in command of its battlespace.  He slaved the pair of MML-7 launchers in the turret to his optics and saw an insectoid and worse Clan Tech Donar Attack Helicopter coming in for the kill with friends. There was nothing he could do as they took apart his tanks at their leisure, yet he fired the impotent missiles defiantly till the end.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 25 October 2018, 12:16:39
Author insert -  Going to make this project my NaNoWriMo goal so expect more updates and a rapid race to Terra by Thanksgiving.  The story is coming to an end but there are still a lot of pages left to write.


Captain Devlin Stone ducked behind the ragged corner as a flash of light from a Blakist laser filled the dark airless corridor with an invisible but very real laser.  His armor heated up near his left pec before the cooling system dumped the excess heat into the radiator pack behind him.  A layer of the inky black Harjel analog found on Lackland (future Warships made or upgraded at the secret Traussian Yards would be just as protected from hull breaches as Clan upgraded ones) solidified within moments maintaining the integrity of the vacuum capable suit currently hanging onto a Warship fuselage. 

The fuselage rocked as another missile from the Federation fleet impacted the Blakist Warship several dozen meters away opening a new assault route for another team.  His Armored Marines had their battle claws and magnetic boots attaching them to the fuselage, once attached the Voidseer Battle Armor were as tough as mites to dislodge from the frame.  This ship and its flotilla were dead sticking in an orbit that would ultimately cause them to crash into Minette within hours.  The whole formation was currently in the planet's shadow. 

Devlin looked back and could see projected dots where the 5th Fleet was against the dark planet.  Closer though was an AK-46 Assault Transport, its sharp delta winged shape was “hovering” above only held by tethers to the fuselage while providing structure and top cover for the marines below.  It's signaling lights blinking softly while the harsh white flood light tied to its belly turret searched the area for a counterattack force in multiple spectra. 

A platoon of the bright white and gold suited 148th Chirikof Espatiers currently tasked to Captain Stone's squad waited patiently four meters edgeward.  They had just zipped down from the tether before engaging the magnetic boots of their vacuum armor stabilizing themselves with their maneuvering jets.  Their visor and rifle lights as well as a blinking signaler was illuminating a small circle around their position. 

Battle damage had degraded the Blakist crew's ability to scuttle the ship much to Devlin's and his fellow marines delight.  The fuselage was rent with great gashes that looked out to open space and it's dangers.  He was currently near one on the dead ship hoping to provide the 278th Fleet Support Group a chance to rescue the vessel for the Federated Suns.  “We have contact!  I want a shield up front.”

Another Voidseer unit came forward carrying a thick square of Battlemech armor its battle claws completely concealing the user while a fiber optic camera tied to his visor allowed him to look past the metal.  The shield blocked half a corridor providing cover from the deadly support laser in the hall ahead while allowing the Marines Armored and not a chance to fire back.

“No time to wait, if they blow the engineering room charges we are all paste.”

The 148th troops fell in, nodded in understanding lining up behind their Armored counterparts.  “Move as one, double time”

The shield-bearer adjusted his heading 'downward' before engaging the jets on his pack till he found purchase on the grate.  Devlin's Marines followed immediately behind searching for targets for their magshot rifles with their advanced sensors.  There were plenty to choose from, a group of the Manei Domini's Tau Zombies, cyborg super-soldiers the size of mythical ogres wearing vacuum armor, joined by Zero-G modified Achileus Battle Armor, and lightly equipped members of the ship's crew willing to die in a final stand against the Commonwealth.  All dressed in sterile white against the exposed rainbow of the conduit.

The Ship's crew fell easily as small Gauss slugs crashed through their space suits with ease.  Their blood erupted from the holes forming a red mist in the corridor, their bodies floating listlessly from their tether harnesses.  The Achileus' armor was up to the challenge taking the combined fire of a whole Armored Marine squad to bring down. 

The Voidseer's heavy armor was solid but not unbreakable nor was the Harjel capable of sealing every breach.  Two of Stone's squad were dropped almost immediately, one had taken a laser blast to the helmet charring the armor but turned the trooper's brain into an awful steam that mercifully was contained.  The other suffered multiple simultaneous blasts that caused heat stroke before succumbing to laser burns. 

A Tau Zombie fully engaged his armor's thrust pack accelerating him at inhuman rates slamming the shield at such a high velocity ultimate resulting in a crash that crushed both troopers even given their more solid structure.

Now his squad was exposed, Devlin reacted to prevent the remaining Tau Zombie from wholesale slaughtering the more vulnerable 148th troopers.  He engaged his thrust pack crashing into the giant cyborg before him before a Capellan man-portable plasma cannon could be readied.  A plasma cannon that would have cooked the Espatiers in their armor.

The claws of Devlin's Battle armor were grappling the massive servo hands of the Zombie's vacuum armor.  The cybernetically enhanced strength of the Blakist shock trooper matching the augmented exoskeleton that held a large man made of flesh and bone rather than wires and myomer weave. 

Captain Stone's training kicked in, crush the trooper in his armor, the thruster pack pressed the Zombie into an armored bulkhead through torn pipes and tattered wires.  Devlin's armor crashed in the force of impact even displaced evenly across his body still caused his breath to be knocked out of him. 

Captain Stone's training kicked in, crush the trooper in his armor, the thruster pack pressed the Zombie into an armored bulkhead through torn pipes and tattered wires.  Devlin's armor crashed in the force of impact even displaced evenly across his body still caused his breath to be knocked out of him. 

The Blakist trooper flipped his visor open revealing a ghoulish face repaired with myomer and plastics complete with metal teeth and a milky white cybernetic eye.  The trooper had a big grin on his mouth, the impact that would have crushed the most sturdy of men hardly affected the monster within.  In fact Devlin had handed his foe the leverage he needed.  The Zombie's drew his legs up before pushing the Voidseer, a 1500kg Battle Armor, into a mass of wires and pipes before “charging” Devlin with a powerful tackle that cracked bone. 

Captain Stone's vision went blurry for a moment while the integral MedKit in his suit delivered a powerful cocktail of drugs that numbed the pain and staved off shock.  He could see his vitals racing and nearing a dangerous level for active combat.  The Zombie used its suit's grapple gun to tether one of the Voidseer's upper arms to the Warship's structure wrapping the strong cable around the suit and effectively immobilizing the armor.  Devlin reacted fast turning towards the grapple and taking up the slack with an agile “bootleg reverse/flip dive” to its anchor.

Devlin's armor didn't have fine control in combat mode something he would need to dislodge the anchor by any means, other than completely tearing the Warship plate.  Devlin went on the defensive his lone arm and some skillful thruster work allowed him to dodge the Zombie's follow up flying charge although he was still to close.

The suit servos strained to break the grapple, its operator hoping that the cable was flawed in some way but it held firm, “Damn, this is gonna hurt.”  The Zombie clambered on and drew back an armored fist, restraining the integral sub-machine gun on his left side while hammered through the armor into the damaged flesh below.  The concussion caused the wind to once more leave Devlin's lungs. 

The twisted face of his foe was still snarling at him through the polarized helmet glass.  His own armored cover was still intact despite the best efforts of cybernetic muscles to tear it away.  From his perspective Devlin could see a sharp piece of warped steel where the warship's fuselage had been damaged.  He pushed the Zombie off, the suit's leg strength sufficient to break his foe's iron hold, and the monster drifted uncontrollably into the spike.  Upon impact crimson fluid formed globules in free-fall as the Blakist cyborg was injured, not dead likely but slowed surely.

Devlin turned around aimed his elbow mounted gun at the anchor.  Paused he braced his suit against the recoil before firing, the silent 9mm rounds weakened it enough that he could break the rod and take control of the cable between the wicked servo arms.  He pushed hard against the plate feeling the reinforced fuselage flexing under his immense force before positioning himself behind the skewed enemy who tried to pull their way off the spike.  The marine didn't let him escape though threading the heavy metal cable around the neck dam of the Zombie's vacuum armor before twisting and pulling with all his augmented strength. 

His own injured body fought against him but adrenaline persevered and Devlin was rewarded with a satisfying slackening of the line as he decapitated his enemy.  The monster's carotid's still pumped blood that was quickly turned to a red snow that covered the Voidseer's armor.  The Zombie's head was still within the helmet and it floated in midair, rotating slowly in the emptiness of the corridor.  The sight of that almost caused Devlin to vomit into his helmet but his training and a dose of an anti-vomit drug saving him the real threat of suffocating on his own bile.

“Move to engineering squad.  I need a moment.”

The vacuum armored marines in blue and gold continued forward cautiously watching the kill-zones as they approached the Athena's engineering bay.  Silent lasers and Magshots finished off the remaining Blakist skeleton crew but the ship was too heavily damaged to salvage.  The survivors gathered their fallen dead and departed the doomed ship.  The A-47s departed returning to their home ships with their crews.  This naval battle had been one but they were still all prepared for the big one.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 26 October 2018, 05:22:11
Peter Steiner-Davion watched as the 46th Shadow Division made their way through the mist. Eerie bone white wraiths that could only be seen clearly in infrared, and some of them not even then as they were utilizing the Capellan's trademark Stealth Armor to jam sensors.  The absence of signal still allowed his troops to pinpoint enemies.  It was something they had planned during the preparation phase for the impending battles with the Ice Hellions.  Current intel suggested they were equipped with more ECM gear than the average clanner much like the Blakists so provisions were made to mitigate that advantage.

His reinforcements were coming but not fast enough, Peter tapped several icons on his strategic view-screen before returning to the live feed on the other side of his cockpit's armored cowling.  There were too many other things to deal with then command responsibility, “Rubicon Company, they will not pass that's an order.  Hold firm and watch for armored infantry, sensors keep flickering so they are out there.”

Green indicator lights from his company confirmed the orders and the local Battlenet was given priority in the queue.  The augmented overlay showed all of his mechs with one bullet and three shields out of the normal five.  Friendly indicators that showed his allies were running with low ammo and compromised armor. 

A Tan and Gold Penetrator stood in the middle of the bridge still in good condition for being heavily engaged, it's ammo independence was something Peter had been banking on in the impeding skirmish.  He watched in horror as dozens of missiles corkscrewed out of the mist from the bridge, the Mech's anti-missile system engaged taking out a few but most impacted with bright orange flashes against the dark blue night.  The Penetrator fell over pockmarked with craters, the pilot's vitals flat-lined as unseen battle armor weapons tore into the cockpit armor.

“Damn, they probably disabled our charges too.  Blakist bastards.”

Peter was tempted to blow the bridge now. He could be wrong, with a single button press he could eliminate the threat and moderately slow the 46th's advance but if he was right it wouldn't matter.  He decided against it but brought a Prowler tank with no ammo forward to use it's active probe to provide some warning against Battle Armor.

“Form up.  On my order we charge.  Draw the battle armor to you and destroy them before they demine the bridge.”

Several, “Aye Sirs,” joined in.  Where the First Prince went others followed.  If a Davion Warrior Prince gave the order to fight the legions of hell on their home turf the AFFS would follow.  'Semper agens deincepts' “Always boldly forward” was the motto of the Outback Legion and plaques adorned with those words were in the Grand Duchess' mansion two hundred kilometers away, as well as every Outback Legion Headquarters for hundreds of light years. 

Peter's Battlemaster was first on the bridge being relatively undamaged by the previous assaults and fine tuned for this manner of brawling.  The unexpected advance of the Legionaires caught the Blakist Battle Armor by surprise and several disappeared as invisible coherent light and high energy particles from the Battlemaster turned them to ash.  A Centurion, Rifleman, and Enforcer III followed close behind their commander each one raking the bridge with a harsh bellow of autocannon rounds where the Prowler's Beagle probe sensed enemy units. 

Soon they were out of contacts, the sudden violence scarcely giving the enemy Phalanx units time to launch their second volley of missiles most of which arced away from their intended targets.  Cavalier Battle Armor came forward to check the charges while Prince Peter and the Legionaries stepped toward the Manei Domini Battlemechs advancing on their position.

Peter knew that Ipos would not disengage, he meant to die on this planet and Peter was willing to give him the opportunity.  He realized his hands were tightly clenching the Battlemaster's controls, the same ones his father had used before him with a rare chance to use against the same foe. 

A small picture of Hanse Davion was recessed in the cockpit, the moment captured was the signing of the FedCom Accords more than 45 years ago.  The Hanse then was a spitting image of Peter now vibrant red hair with just a little graying from a life filled with tragedy, turmoil, adventure, romance, and a greater opportunity in front of him with the past forgotten.  He wondered why Yvonne had picked it out and placed it in the cockpit but figured it out in that instant.  “Thank you sister.  That is exactly what I needed.”

The battle was hard fought, the BattleROMs of the unit's engaged would be used in the future at every Federated Suns academy as a textbook example of a fade action.  The Legionaries and Shadow Division clashed with a a ferocity rarely seen outside of the DCMS or Smoke Jaguars.  The battle was costly but skillful maneuvering, air power, artillery, and a healthy bit of luck enabled the Legionaries to carry the day. 

By the time Renegade Squadron arrived 'The Black Prince' was the last Battlemech standing.  It's jagged jet black frame stepping on the broken Precentor's Avatar.  The head and pilot of which had been removed by a blast from the clan tech ERPPC that was still glowing red hot in her thermal sights. 

Yvonne could see the mech had been ravaged in the fight against Ipos' unit but her brother had emerged victorious.  “Way to go Peter.  Renegades we are not needed here; Time for more HK ops.  Anyone that needs ammo RTB.”

Two of the gunships the Warrior V and a Yellow Jacket broke off and returned to their supply base.  The four Donar and Hawk Moths continued hunting down damaged enemies and supporting the scattered calls for firepower from lighter mechanized infantry units. 

Legionnaire Armored Infantry didn't approach fallen Blakist mechs instead calling down artillery to blast them to pieces and neutralize any booby traps.  Musketeer hover-tanks raced up and down the river engaging in search and destroy missions against damaged Blakist units.  The 46th's dropships had been crippled by conventional fighter-bombers or aerospace fighters that were engaging in clean up from the orbital battle that had just concluded.  They self-destructed rather than risk capture by Yvonne's forces.

Two days later Peter and Yvonne had recovered from injuries sustained in the battle and a clearer picture of their operational status was visible on the holotable before them.  Yvonne paused rubbing her eyes before looking toward Peter who was standing just a little bit taller than she remembered.  “You killed the Lion of Destiny himself Peter.  Way to live up to the family motto.”

“Audacity, Bravery, Destiny.  I remember.  Dad never let us forget it, but I guess you knew more about that then I.”

“I guess I do.  I'm sorry you didn't get to know him as well as you ought to Peter.  He always thought there would be plenty of time right up until there was no more.  It continues to pain me that Arthur didn't get a chance to put his ideals to the test before things went so wrong.”

Peter looked at the picture of his family taken last week, “I think I understand him a lot better now than I ever have.  Thank you Yvonne, everything that happened two nights ago was your doing.”

“I can't take credit for that Peter.  That was all you; maybe there was a little bit of dad in that old Battlemaster.  I heard a rumor once that Katherine tried to talk to the dead in Grandmom's Warhammer and Galen's Crusader when she was feeling down.  Maybe she was on to something or perhaps she just needed some alone time to figure herself out.”

“Katrina's Warhammer did have a certain way to it when I piloted it the few times at Nagelring, very different than the one I piloted for the Brotherhood.  The techs claimed it was haunted but I think it was just old SLDF components she replaced during her time in exile that were acting up.  Old mechs have a mind of their own, the ancient DI computers were too smart for their own good.”

“There are a lot of things we don't know about Katrina or Katherine for that matter.”  Yvonne desperately wanted to change the subject, her relationship with her elder sister was complicated but simpler without the burden of FTL communications.  Katherine was on the other side of the universe, there were more pressing concerns on this side.  “Looks like we made it through damaged but unbowed Peter.  Thanks to you morale is at an all time high.  We defeated a Shadow Division but soon we have to kill a Clan.”

Peter queued up their briefing notes for today, “Two weeks till D-day.  That's a long time Yvonne.”

“It will be gone in a flash.  We still have so much work to do and the Blakists made it that much harder.  I doubt we'll make the window despite our best efforts.”

“Then we had better get to work.”
  The holotable fired through a series of false color images and technical readouts taken from a MIIO SIGINT station burrowed into an asteroid in the Crofton asteroid belt. “The Hellions don't know their time draws near.”

“I hope you're right Peter because if they do it might be the end for us.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 29 October 2018, 16:26:49

08/14/3069 Location – HS Moore's Honor, Crofton Zenith Point, Hellion Hegemony

Star Commodore Vanko Izotov watched the holographic representation of his patrol area from the CIC which was kept cool to maintain focus in its crew.  The straps of his chair held him tight even in free-fall there was no threat but the Clan crewmen were always ready to thrust toward a KF anomaly.  The multicolored holo-display the only color in an otherwise drab gray facility, his subordinate crew were logged into their visor displays. 

The Essex II destroyer Moore's Honor and Fredasa corvette HS Whelp warships along with a trio of dropships were tasked with maintaining the blockade that Khan Drake had imposed on the Crofton system.  A Waypoint KF Recharge Station hosted another binary of gunships and marines to augment the defenses.  The HPG whiteout drew prey right to them as they occupied one of the most prolific factory worlds in the Federated Suns.  Unsuspecting merchants jumped in and before they could jump back the Hellions would be upon them.  While the communication issues limited the Khan's ability to control his subordinates it provided an excellent edge that the Hellions exploited mercilessly.

“Commodore, we are picking up a KF anomaly nearby.  Looks like something big.”

Vanko smiled but no one saw it as they were absorbed into their work, a tone signalling the ten fighter pilots and two stars of Elemental Marines to stand by, “Perhaps another Monolith has fallen into our net.”

“We will know soon enough Commodore.  The Crofton Crescent and Whelp have put their fighters on alert and are vectoring toward us.”

The Essex destroyer continued burning silently toward the anomaly, an artifact of the KF FTL drive that enabled mankind to colonize the stars.  The sensor operator picked up more contacts, “Sir, we have a dozen incoming contacts.”

“Stravag FedRats.  Yeomen Bryan, Send a burst transmission to the Cage's Pride telling them we are under attack.” 

Commodore Vanko triggered the overhead address, “All Hands, Battle Stations.  The Fifth Fleet is upon us.  Battle Stations.  Evacuate nonessential areas, launch all fighters, and deploy the gunships.”

The Klaxons rang throughout the destroyer as compartments were closed off and evacuated of their atmosphere and personnel.  Hellion crewmen donned their armored spacesuits and Elemental Marines prepared to either board gunships or defend their home vessel.  Their modified Salamander battle armor locking them into position with brutal claws and powerful heavy machine guns.

Aboard the Intruder-DG Outback Renegade Yvonne Steiner-Davion and her command staff waited on the bridge while the Avalon FCS Victor Steiner-Davion completed its FTL transit.  While not sharing her sister's debilitating condition Yvonne still didn't enjoy the sensation.  She would have never made it through aerospace fighter school which suited her just fine. 

Upon exiting the transit Yvonne had to brace herself for a few moments while the dizziness receded.  “Status Report Captain.”

Captain Oberon, a slim boned spacer whose gold dyed hair blended with the Fleet uniform he was wearing triggered the release from their Warship collar, the holographic 3d display in the middle of the bridge flickered on while digesting the recently reactivated sensors. “Looks like two smaller Warships and a trio of dropships heading our way.”

“Well that's lucky, didn't want the Potemkin or McKenna hitting us before we get into formation.”

“Aye Your Grace.  Captain Roth and Admiral Vincent are already firing on the destroyer.  Our guns are warming up for fighter and missile defense.”

Yvonne pulled up a split feed from the Outback Renegade's sensors, the Victor Steiner-Davion and Zodiac Gemini were sending lethal munitions streaking toward the Hellion Essex.  The rest of the flotilla formed a protective shield of picket gunships, fighters, and flak around the Outback Legion's dropships.  The Warships wouldn't stand a chance against the VSD but they could seriously damage the actual reconquest of Crofton.

Khan Xander Drake of the Hellions stood on the Bastion space station CSDF Klondike's gravity deck.  The station was currently in a polar orbit around the planet where it could easily pass across almost any point on the globe with little adjustment.  His pallor was pale, body fit, and hair platinum blonde, the boyish good looks fading ever so slightly with age and marred by a few scars from a life as a Clan Elemental, a tough life but one with intense focus and drive. 

He was looking at the live feed from the space station's pressurized bay where his Sassanid dropship Coup de Grace was being completely re-hauled.  An urgent message came in from the McKenna Battleship Cage's Pride, the Hellions Flagship.  “Khan Drake we are under attack.  The Commonwealth's Fifth Fleet will be at Crofton within a week.”

“We expected this, pull the Nadir and Belt patrols to prepare for battle.”

“Aff, my Khan.”

He pulled up a picture of the Grand Duchess that was likely leading the battle group, “What took you so long?  We were growing impatient.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 30 October 2018, 07:13:23
Still feel it's unreal how Hellions are competent leadership.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 30 October 2018, 08:47:18
Still feel it's unreal how Hellions are competent leadership.

I actually think it is unreal that the main fiction always counted the Khans as such madmen.  Any leader especially in a military group needs to Charisma, Competence, and Courage.  Lincoln Osis, Asa Taney, and Ian Hawker made smart plays, they just made more and worse dumb ones.


08/20/3069 Location – Marcus, Crofton, Hellion OZ

Isis Marik and Kitsune Kurita(-Steiner-Davion) were looking out from their third floor apartment window at the bright stars above.  The streets below were abandoned and a dreadful silence filled the inky dark of the once bustling capital city.  “I don't like this Kitsune”

Kitsune turned and caught some of the soft light from an emergency light in the apartment.  Isis was still impressed with his features that hinted at what would be a very handsome young man in just a few years.  The Hellions had forced every child through their sibko program and had marked him as a high potential individual.  Of course Isis knew that from the beginning and trusted that his Aunt or at least the AFFC would liberate Crofton before he was drafted into the Hellion Touman.

“I know.  The AFFC must have finally showed up to liberate Crofton.  I wish I could fight the Hellions just like Dad fought the Falcons.”

“Your father was a good man Kitsune, not just a good solider.  I'm sure you will make him proud with whatever you do but you still have time to decide.  You don't have to be a soldier.”

Kit's room was dominated by a poster of a Warhammer standing over a charred wreckage with steam rising from its PPC barrels.  Another was a Hellion recruitment poster with a face on Black Lanner and Hellion Battlemech standing in profile against their logo, “I want to be one.”

“I know.  Just reminding you that I will always be concerned about you.”

Kitsune gave her a hug, Isis had always been there for him.  Had even risked her life for him on multiple occasions.  Isis heard her nearly 14 month old baby cry from the other room, “I have to go to Jade. Don’t stay close to the window and keep your eyes open Kit.”

“Good night Isis.  I hope Fabian comes back soon.  I don't think it is a good idea for him to working late tonight.”

“Me too Kitsune.  I've hardly seen him the Hellions have been working his team ragged for the past two months.  I hope this conflict ends and things go back to normal quickly.  Things were so much better before.”


08/21/3069 Location – Overlord-XN Chophouse, Crofton

Major Quentin “Woodsman” Brekker was tightly strapped into his modified Berserker Battlemech sealed with Harjel and equipped with Clan tech while armed for Zero-G combat.  His Mech unit was the only one of its type in the Commonwealth Fleet not the Ground Corps though they certainly could do some damage there too.  Through the armored visplate that took up his cockpit he could see the rest of his command lance, two Axmen and a Nightsky.  Their primal brutal forms illuminated in a faint red light from the dropship’s bay.  His own HUD contained a countdown ticking the seconds down to their drop time.  A minute before the time arrived the dropship’s bay opened looking out at the massive battle occurring around them.

Hellion Aerospace fighters were heavily engaged and with the Avalon FCS Hanse Davion’s screen launchers active they were leaving the lone Chophouse and its gunships heading toward their destination, the Bastion space station CSDF Klondike. “Hang in there Choppers.  It’s about to get bumpy.”

The Drop Officer came online, a solid male voice that was always free with a pep talk.  “Major, time for you to bail we’ll give you a push out the door in five.  Don’t miss.”

“Never have Dave.  Drinks on you later?”

“They’ll be cold by the time you get back.”
“They’d better be.”

The Berserker was shoved rudely out the door the twenty four Mechs of the Commonwealth Choppers and a group of the 144th Marines in their A-47 battle taxis vectored just behind the Chophouse and a pair of Upgraded Avenger Assault dropships.  The Avengers opened their bays dispersing a screen of chaff and bombs that would soften the opposition for the immediate follow on forces.  The Chophouse provided all-aspect coverage against the Hellion Aerospace fighters that would overwhelm the mechs.  Hostile and friendly missiles flew all around them some being shot down by the Chopper’s Anti-Missile systems before impacting creating mushrooming but silent explosions.

The group kept a tight formation behind the Avengers which broke off, the Chophouse reversed and vectored away from the station pulling fighters along with it.  Quentin inserted his mouth guard and primed the airbag as the surface of the Bastion space station consumed his whole view-screen.  The HUD counted down the seconds to impact and he readied the Waldo that controlled his hatchet bearing arm rearing back the seven ton piece of reinforced steel. 

Swinging it moments before impact the Berserker struck the thick armor of the station the resulting bounce jarred its pilot but the hatchet held firm.  This Berserker’s jump jet controls were optimized for Zero-G maneuvering and they slowly oriented him perpendicular to the sphere.  He looked back at the desperate fleet battle going on while Outback Legion dropships initiated their terminal burns to liberate Crofton from the Hellions.  The rest of the Choppers, mostly Hatchmentand Nightskies with a few Axmen mixed in for the missile support oriented themselves as well.  All were barely touching the armored skin of the space station propelled mostly by their jump jets and oriented by their internal gyroscopes. 

The squadron of A-47 assault craft hovered above the sphere nearby below the engagement angles of the stations impressive anti-aerospace firepower.  Puffs of Armored Marines disembarked onto the cratered surface.  “Major Brekker to Captain Stone.”

“Captain Stone here.”
“Your guys look like you need a ride.  Hop on.”

Captain Devlin Stone maneuvered his Voidseer suit attaching to the magnetic grapple points on the Berserker, “Roger that.  We’re secure. Now let’s take back Klondike.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 01 November 2018, 08:09:11
Khan Xander Drake watched the naval battle unfold from the command center inside the Klondike.  The battle was a slow motion duel at extreme range with long periods of waiting.  The sturdy Avalon cruisers and their escorts would be spending their time maneuvering against the Hellion Fleet now that their dropships were burning out of Marcus’ noon sky.  A deadly slow motion dance that would take several days to fully play out.  Eventually his clan would win and then it was all over for the Grand Duchess’ relief forces.  With her death or capture as well as the industry that the Hellions took with them from the Homeworlds or had acquired along the way his Clan would be unstoppable in this area of space.

Five minutes ago the BattleSat had been attacked by a short squadron of dropships using heavy jamming and escorted by a Binary of enemy fighters.  The chief technician also said the Commonwealth fleet had attempted to hack the Klondike’s vital systems remotely but the clan upgrades over the past months quickly shut down their effort.  As it was now things were settling in his control area and engineers were preparing to repair the damaged sections of the station now that the enemy forces had veered off.

One of the station Technicians looked up from his console toward the central dais where Xander floated in his slate gray jumpsuit and a well worn arctic camouflage jacket with the collar up against the chill air inside the station, “My Khan you should look at this.”

“Put it on the screen.”

A live image of the Crofton below was replaced by a video taken from one of the engineering pods showing two dozen Mechs with wickedly curved hatchets puffing along the surface of the station.  One of them fired upon the pod and the video cut out.  Xander’s shock was audible and visible to all his subordinates, all were equally puzzled.  The units and tactics on display beyond anything a Clan had seen before. “Are those Battlemechs on the station’s surface?”

“Aff Khan Drake, they were jamming the sensors, we did not detect them till the repair team was dispatched.”

What a bold move.  Perhaps the first of many, if so this shall be an interesting battle worthy of the Remembrance.” He pushed off toward the exit and tagged the mic inside his hat, “Red Alert, Begin evacuation and un-docking procedures.”

He exited the command room and floated toward the marine station nearby. The hallway was blaring with the Red Alert he had just engaged. After cycling the door he saw his zero-g modified gray and red Salamander Battle Armor secured and waiting in the locker unit lit with an eerie blue light from the overhead units. 

Xander pushed himself to the cage and entered the unit engaging the hasty startup procedure.  The Battle Armor’s highly engineered rear sections knitted themselves back together before engaging the seals that made the unit air tight as well as radiation and fire resistant, the air mixture slowly adjusting to maintain oxygen while reducing loss to the environment. 

Khan Drake tested the haptic interface gloves that controlled the claws touching each one to the armor’s “palm” and did a quick system check for the heavy rotary style machine gun mounted over his shoulder.  The unit pushed itself against the wall clearing its cage before the maneuver unit reoriented him toward the door.  The Salamander’s electromagnetic grapple points engaged locking it to the station’s deck. Drake engaged the unit’s Augmented Reality overlay causing a ghostly reticle to appear while the outside of the screen provided critical data to its operator, “All Marine Points on me.”

Elsewhere Captain Devlin Stone was still clinging to the front of the Berserker’s torso as they slowly floated toward their objective area.  Several minutes had elapsed since they shot the engineering pod and nothing happened.  The area around the BattleSat was clear and the dropships had pulled all the Aerospace fighters away.  Now the Hellions were likely tasking them with supporting the ground offensive currently underway.  The ECM suites in each of the Choppers must have blocked their own signatures as the point defense weapon systems that could engage them had not fired upon the units that were fighting outside their element.

Their target area loomed large in front of them, this section of the exterior would provide the fastest approach to the command center.  It was also opposite the enclosed repair bay that could hold a Clan assault dropship with the potential firepower to overwhelm even two companies of battlemechs.  “Ready the can openers.”

The Choppers continued their silent vigil over Devlin Stone’s company of 144th Marines as they disengaged from their carrier units.  They had rehearsed this maneuver dozens of times over Galax at the Gravidrome.  There were two airlocks nearby leading down parallel corridors to the command center each potentially holding a group of Marines.  The objectives were simple, secure the space station and clear it of any Hellion forces.  However it was harder to assault an undamaged space station than one crippled by the heavy weapons capitol ships carried.  Even the smallest of those weapons rent great holes in the armor of a Mjolnir, one of the most thickly armored vessels known to man, that were easier to get through.

The 144th waited just outside the blast range of their charge, their guns at the ready, “Charges primed Captain”
“Blast ‘em”

Captain Stone and Commander Brekker watched as the soundless explosions tore the airlocks off their hinges.  Marines from the seconds stick grappled the stray doors and tethered them to an exterior coupling for later ease of repair.  Devlin triggered his pack to push forward and “dive” into the airlock behind the Pointman Voidseer unit initially equipped with a pair of heavy interlocking shields instead of weapons. 

The combined momentum of the two units crashed into the interior airlock door buckling it and they dove right into a hail of machine gun fire from Hellion Salamanders.  The noiseless puffs were very real and shards from the shield filled the volume between the suits.  The Pointman held the line long enough for the rest of the force to enter and take defensive positions before pulling to the side himself. 

“Hostiles! Sweep and Engage!”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 03 November 2018, 20:52:55
Nice!  Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 04 November 2018, 11:31:11
Khan Xander Drake felt the cold steel of the space station's metal walls flexing as his suit impacted them.  A computer controlled auto-injector in his trauma kit dosed him with drugs specially engineered for his Elemental Phenotype to blunt the pain but he was going to feel it later.  His enemy was not so lucky however, the unit's helmet had been sheared off by the powerful Battle Claws of the Salamander Armor.  The soldier's blood forming dark red globules that escaped from the claws before splashing into the walls.

No matter how many he dropped though the Commonwealth Marines were steadily gaining ground.  Their marines were more experienced and battle hardened then the initial Watch reports let on.  However their numbers were not as many as predicted which was fortunate his Clan would have had greater difficulty if they had another of their LCTs in play.

Regardless without additional support from friendly naval assets or ground units, all of whom were currently engaged, they would lose this station and with it the high ground and rapid response capability it represented.  The strategic value of the Klondike could upset the balance of power on the ground.  The Hellions would do better to prevent its recapture.

“Marine Points carry the wounded and move to the escape pods.  Keep engaging them, we have to buy time.  Coup de Grace begin to separate and head to the rally point.”

Multiple green lights flickered as the unit commander's acknowledged their Khan's orders.  He needed every Trueborn Warrior he could maintain.  Any casualties were nigh irreplaceable; recent Hellion pilot sibkos had not been large enough to sustain the attrition they had experienced the past five years.  Even the lesser Flurry units were struggling to fill their ranks.  That was even with the capture of Nova Cat and Smoke Jaguar creches before the Hellions escaped the Homeworlds.  The AFFC units in the Outback had been initially taken by surprise by his Clan's tactics but they would adapt or die and their numbers still surpassed his clans.  Only Crofton had the capabilities to sustain his offensives momentum and Hellion policy was to always to sustain a tempo that no others could, standing still was deatah.

Khan Drake's Point and two others held the secondary command center against the encroaching Commonwealth forces, the primary station had been disconnected from the vital control circuit.  Noiseless weapons fire punched holes into the superstructure of the station and spreading shards of metal that floating in free-fall in their wake.  Xander carefully tapped one of the keyboards in the command station with the Salamander's claws.  A countdown timer appeared on his AR interface as alarms began lighting up throughout the station, “Time to drop the ball”

Captain Devlin Stone looked around him as the metal shards that were previously floating freely were now settling on the “ceiling.”  “Brekker what's going on outside?”

“Captain, the station's chemical thrusters are fully engaged, it's orbit is decaying.  We already called the Chophouse back.  Recommend you and your men evac.”

“Not if I can still stop it.  Can you get a group of engineers from the dropship to the engineering deck?”
“I'll ask but that might be a suicide mission Captain.”
“We are not going to lose this station Commander. Understand?”
“Aye sir.  We will move to open a hole for an EVA from the Chophouse.”
“All Marine squads on me.  We need to rush the Secondary Command Room.  These Clanners might be crazy enough to drop the station with them still inside and we can't risk that.”

The 144th's Voidseer suits shifted their magnetic holds to the “ceiling” with a little help from their thruster packs now that they oriented toward the gravity they could move easily.  Captain Stone's unit was getting closer to their target but were under fire from the remaining Hellion Marines and the station's own automated defense guns.  The small automatic shotguns were not sufficient to threaten an Armored Marine alone but they damaged external sensor feeds, absorbed ammo from their weapon systems, and in mass chipped away at armor.

Each door they had to break through or turret they needed to disable was more time till the station hit atmo and began to break apart with them inside. 

The drop officer from the Chophouse came in over the BattleNet, “Captain Stone, a Hellion Sassanid just detached and began it's reentry burn.  Recommend you get moving ASAP.”

“No we are going to retake the station.  ICEBLOCK needs all the advantages it can get.  We can do this.”

Khan Xander Drake watched the clock that was steadily counting down.  The Salamander equipped Marines made the enemy pay in blood and time for every meter they took but both were running out for either side.  They were nearing the danger zone where the station's escape pods would no longer work and with the Coup de Grace gone those were the only way off for his Hellions that wasn't an enemy dropship.

He pressed forward holding the line and buying time for his wounded Elementals to evacuate.  Each escape pod could only hold one Elemental in armor rather than six passengers due to the suit's mass and available fuel.  The AR feed crossed off the nearby pods and the pool was gradually decreasing as they ejected and burned toward Crofton's surface.

As Stone cleared a corridor after dealing with one of the dual shotgun armed turrets he came upon a lone Salamander colored differently than the others.  This one was patterned more intricately the swirls of color moving in an aesthetically pleasing way so unlike the bland mono or dual-color of the the other Hellions.  Before he could lift the empty mag-shot in his arm to defend himself the suit was upon him, a surprisingly swift leap for such a large unit.  The Salamander impacted and dug its foot claws into the station's wall lashing out with the myomer enhanced claws on its bulky arms in an attempt to crush his helmet.  The hardened metal claws leaving deep razor sharp trails in the armored bulkhead behind him.

Stone discarded the Magshot, the heavy rifle clattered toward the "ceiling" as the station was still accelerating in that direction.  He raised his own claws, the Voidseer's myomer muscles being an equal match to a Salamander. The Hellion grappled them as well neither side wanting to give the other an opening to exploit.  Unlike the Voidseer though the Salamander retained the foot claws rather than just being magnetic boots. The operator of this suit attempted to use them to break the clinch, the suit's saurian foot kicked toward Devlin's Suit and grabbed onto the front plate of his armor the foot claws crunched and bent the Voidseer's armor.  The initial impact almost caused the suit to go into a spiral that would likely result in his death but Devlin had been top of his class in Freefall Fighting at the Gravidrome and maintained control.

The one advantage a Voidseer had over the Salamander was a stronger thruster pack; the Salamander being adapted from ground combat to its current role as opposed to purpose built for the task at hand.  Devlin triggered the over-thrust mode and because the Salamander was not as securely attached to the “floor” the Marine overcame the Hellion Khan smashing the enemy fighter through a wall, wires and cooling pipes snapped as they broke through the conduit.  The Salamander detached and regained control while maintaining the clinch.

A rattling voice came in over the local waves, every Zero-G spacesuit had a broad spectrum communicator with a short range for private conversation, “Well fought Freeborn but you are running out of time.  If we keep fighting then we burn together or you can save this station and your allies.”
“How do you know my allies won't figure out a way to save the station while I kill you Khan Drake?”

The armored face-plate of the Salamander opened to reveal a pale man with even paler hair, “So you figured it out, smart Spheroid.  Well you can help them because I am going to give you the access code to abort the de-orbit.  That would take less time than attempting to hack or create an engineering bypass yes?.”
“What do you get out of it?”
“Hegira off the station.  The fight may begin up here but it will not end until we are down there.”
Stone was sweating he had never seen a Clan Khan up close before but was pleased it wasn't some cyborg monstrosity, just a Warrior on the other side of the battle. “I accept”
“Bargained well and done then”

“Give me the code.”

A chime triggered in Devlin's AR set a short text transmission from an unknown sender with a ten character abort code.

“Well there you have it now let go.  I have an escape pod to reach.”
“What if I choose to continue now that I have what I need?”
“I can change the code at will until I leave.  So you want me off as quickly as possible if you are to have a chance to rescue this station's orbit.”
“How do I know you won't change it?”
“You have to take my honorable word Captain.  Now I would hurry.  I do not fear death but there is more Glory to be won in future battles even if I go out in a grand fashion in a few moments.”

Devlin released the Salamander's claws expecting another swipe meant to decapitate him but instead the Hellion's Khan went to the escape pod.  “See you on the ground, Captain Stone.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 05 November 2018, 02:35:56
Now that's behavior I expect from a warrior khan.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 06 November 2018, 14:05:06
14:48 Overlord Dropship FSS The Black Prince, Bethsbath Bay, Annesland, Crofton

“Two Minutes, Hot Landing, Black Dogs”

First Prince Peter Steiner-Davion was strapped into his repaired and revamped Battlemaster waiting for the doors to open.  He could feel the power of the dropship’s thrusters beneath him and heard the landing legs as they deployed.  The mech was online but still in administrative lockdown to prevent the weight from shifting while the spheroid dropship attempted to land safely, unexpected shifts could potentially result in a catastrophic reentry. 

Visible in the red light of the Mech Bay were the rest of Black Dog Battalion, the only survivors of the 1st Outback Legion HCT’s Four Battalions.  Most were in the new Roughneck Battlemech that was exclusive to the Legion, it was heavily armed, armored, and reliable but sluggish; designed for low cost and easy maintenance mainly to combat less sophisticated threats than a Clan Omnimech. 

Nevertheless Peter and his commanders would have to make do, the only things that could barely match the Hellions in capability were old Phoenix Hawks and the newer Wolf Traps.  Both were severely lacking in firepower compared to the Omnimechs fielded by their enemy as well as the StarCorps’ Omnis manufactured on world.

The one minute countdown timer appeared in Peter’s HUD projected onto the visor of his ultralight neurohelmet.  The helmet equipped with bleeding edge electronics that provided much better situational awareness than the older models he was accustomed to as a Paladin of Randis.  The armored cowling covered the cockpit ferroglaz and the Battlemaster’s internal projectors took over taking in data from multiple sensors built into the Mech’s armor to give him the best picture of the battlefield.  “Thirty seconds”

The Dropship’s bay doors opened up and revealed a massive ongoing battle, the thrusters kicked up dust and debris from below as the ramp lowered.  “Ten seconds” The Admin Lock was released giving Peter full control of his Battlemech. “Move Out!”

The Black Dogs disembarked and the Wolf Traps immediately began firing their missiles at long range toward the swift moving Omnimechs.  They advanced steadily into the melee, the Hellion Mechs were using a wheeling maneuver similar to a Cantabrian Circle.  Each Mech Star would fire their long range missiles at extreme range while on the move at one enemy unit.  Then they would continue moving out of engagement range of that target and loose another volley at a different one.  The mass of missiles being fired by the Hellion, Hankyo, and Koshi Mechs were enough to stagger the heaviest Battlemechs.  The tactic required lots of space, incredibly agility, practice, and coordination between Clan Mechwarriors.  It was utterly unClanlike, more like tactics used by the DCMS’ Light Amphigean Groups, but devastatingly effective and difficult to counter.

Peter watched as thirty missiles streaked out of the rainy sky across the glistening ferrocrete badlands toward his mech.  A dozen of them hit scattered across his battlemech.  His own LRM rack fired in response but the missiles fell short, falling behind a tailing Hankyo.  The rest of the attack force continued to press against the Hellion Cluster but they maintained distance and discipline with their light mechs using the wider arc left unprotected by the dropships to their advantage.  “If we go forward we’ll be surrounded and potentially cut off.  Black Prince, Where is our air cover?”

“Delayed Top Dog, Two Clusters from the Hellion’s Delta Galaxy have bottled up the Eight at their landing zone.  It’s a slugfest there, they haven’t been able to deploy the Sixty Second Bomber Squadron.”  The Hellion’s Delta and Gamma Galaxies were atypical of the fast moving and hard hitting Hellion unit in their Alpha and Beta Galaxies that fought in packs.  Intelligence had observed them using more common Clan tactics and heavier units that were anathema to the fleet footed Mechwarriors. 

“Damn, we’ll have to make it work.  Keep advancing toward the objective, engage if they get too close.  See if we can press them against the terrain.”

The Black Dogs continued their advance under fire, their day one objective was to secure the Annesland South Rail Marshaling Yard.  That yard needed to be captured if the Legion was to have any chance of making it to Farrah, StarCorps’ fortress of a factory city nearly 100 kilometers away.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 08 November 2018, 11:30:41
09/21/3069 12:58 Location – Red Palace, Crimson, Canopus IV, Magistracy of Canopus

Magestrix Emma Centrella maintained her outer composure although swirling emotions were eating her up inside.  Two days ago the Baron destroyer WOBS Light of Faith and the 41st Shadow Division arrived at a pirate jump point without forewarning.  On-board the Warship was the Word of Blake's Master and he didn’t make social calls.

A Level III of the 41st Shadow Division arrived at the Palace Grounds after parading their bleached bone combat units through the city in escort of a DBF 540 Luxury SUV flanked by Chevalier Tanks and Phalanx Armored Infantry.  The remainder of their unit was stand by nearby at Thistledown Starport under the watchful eyes of the rest of RIH and the First Canopian Cuirassiers.  Increasing her own Palace Guard would have made her look fearful so Emma left it at the normal Augmented Company under Jason’s Command.  If there was going to be a fight better for most of it to be away from Crimson. 

The red and gold units of Raventhir’s Iron Hand stopped most of the combat units from entering the Palace Courtyard proper but allowed the Armored Infantry to pass.  Colonel Jason Raventhir showing remarkable restraint under her explicit orders after one of the Manei Domini pointed a Guillotine’s lasers at his Yu Huang threatening to fire unless he moved aside.

Emma stood alone at the end of the circle that surrounding the Palace Gardens a sign of respect to the passenger of the SUV approaching her.  Her attire was fabulous, scarlet robes, black curly hair filled with a variety of jeweled combs, and her boots while not typically visible under the folds fashionable and functional.  Most callers had to walk into the Throne Room but instead she met him.  RIH Amazon and the Shadow Phalanx Armored Infantry watched each other warily as the vehicle came to a stop. 

A blonde woman in her early thirties exited the white vehicle on the opposite side she was dressed in a normal fashion for a high level secretary, normal everything except the cybernetic spring legs below her black pencil skirt.  She was followed by three well-dressed men in charcoal gray suits, each one of them an obvious cyborg who moved with a oiled grace.

One of the bodyguards opened the passenger door revealing a white robed figure with his hood up.  The man stood and turned toward Emma, the burning red cybernetic eye and scarred visage that struck fear into the hearts of many did not phase her. 

“Thomas, it has been a while.  You should call more often.  I see you still haven't upgraded, unfortunate that Blessed Order didn't see fit to take you to my Mother's people after your incident.”

One of the bodyguards shouted, “You shall address The Master with respect!” motioned to backhand her but she stood firm and Thomas raised one of his hands, reconstructed with myomer and polished metal after his near death experience at the hands of his cousin, motioning him to halt.  The bodyguard paused, “But.”

“This woman is no threat to me Jonah.  Magestrix, you know why I am here so why isn’t who I seek in front of me?”
“I’m afraid I have grown too fond of him and no longer wish to hand him over to you.”

The reconstructed face of Thomas Marik still showed plenty of raw human emotion despite his robotic cadence and appearance.  A quick glimpse of rage was replaced with a superficial calm, “That is regrettable Emma.  I had hoped you would prove more accommodating considering what is at stake.”

“You are here in person Thomas.  Which means you are losing.  Seems I have more at stake by continuing to be a silent partner to your Word of Blake. 

Your own family is at war with itself and your brother is losing to your sisters.  My son in law has turned his armies against you to save himself, my daughter is preparing to recapture Kali Liao, and Shraplen’s Junta is running out of steam and soldiers.  I know you are pulling everyone back to Sol, you don’t have the time or people to punish the Magistracy for my decisions. 

You’ve lost, you just can’t admit it yet.  Why don’t you leave Arthur out of it?  Head on back to Mars and wait for Photon or Alys to finish you off.”

“The Word of Blake is not done yet Emma.  The worse is yet to come, we gave them their chances to see Blake’s Wisdom.  I will give you one more chance, hand over Arthur Steiner-Davion and I will spare Canopus my wrath.”

Emma held her ground knowing what the answer might bring, “No.”

Thomas Marik’s reached out one of his myomer hands faster than Emma thought possible for a nearly eighty year old man.  He lifted her with the superhuman strength in both of his cybernetic arms.  Emma attempted to break the hold but he was too strong and there was no fleshy weakness for her to exploit remaining in him.  “You are going to tell me where he is or I am going to turn Crimson to cinders!”

Emma managed a quick shallow breath, “Can’t take the hint huh.  Hands off!”  She drew a Nova Laser Pistol from her robes and fired it, melting one of his arms at the elbow before firing the second shot at the other one.  She rolled away behind an Iron Hand Amazon discarding the pistol in the process, the laser clattered into a nearby fountain and steamed as it flash boiled the water. 

The Manei Domini bodyguards gathered the armless Master shielding him initially with their subdermal armored bodies while the Armored Infantry engaged one another.  They fired back but loaded Thomas Marik into the SUV while Emma sprinted away discarding the cumbersome robes to reveal a black cat-suit fitted with armor plates and sneak systems. 

The 540 gunned it passing between the Battlemechs currently firing on one another just outside the Palace Grounds quickly joined by the Chevaliers.

Just as she about to clear the courtyard and get to her Lao Hu concealed nearby Emma was tackled from behind.  The secretary had caught up to her, wicked looking claws sprouting from one of her hands.  “You need a manicure girl.  Those look dangerous.”

She attempted to drive one of the clawed fingers into the Emma’s eye but the attack was reversed into a kimura hold.  However she noticed the fine stranded myomer musculature just under the woman’s torn blouse. The pale almost real looking synthetic skin disguised it well but the truth was obvious to the knowing eye; and this was a Canopian modification, it was too pretty for the normal Blake chrome-docs.  The attacker was immobilized but Emma couldn’t remain or eliminate the threat like this, she would have to get more creative.

The woman broke the kimura and Emma slid across the salmon concrete on the back plate of her armor unable to complete the roll to remain standing.  The attacker was on her in a moment her spring legs giving her a long leap and fast ground speed.  She raised her claws to end the wounded woman but was met with a rising dagger into the soft flesh of her neck.  Dark red blood flowed across the ivory blouse, Emma pulled the dagger out and thrust it into her opponent’s throat.  The cyborg clutched at the knife, unable to grip and extract it due to the exposed claws, she went pale with shock and laid still as her breath and life’s blood slipped away.

Emma clutched at her side which had been slashed in the melee as she continued on toward her Battlemech, “No matter how much of you is metal; you’re still human and that means you can die.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 08 November 2018, 13:34:15
Woah, epic update!!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 08 November 2018, 17:27:58
Magestrix Emma Centrella put her Lao Hu's throttle to full power pushing through the smoke filled streets of Crimson. Her heavy battlemech caused major damage to the streets in its wake and sometimes she had to push through a building to evade the Shadow Division units hunting her.  A Blakist Icarus II got in her way, the latest in a long line of ancient designs given new teeth by the Word of Blake and the Free World's League's Military-Industrial Complex. 

It was firing fragmentation missiles at a Crimson Civil Guard unit, the mechanized infantry were armed with heavy weapons but outclassed.  Emma put the cross-hairs of the Kali Yama Big Bore Autocannon over the fragile Icarus, the Lao Hu shuttered as the cannon fired a 203mm shell that smashed through the smaller mech.  The Icarus collapsed to the ground in a heap and Emma stepped over it as the CCG unit let out a cheer before swarming the enemy mech to ensure the pilot was dead, there were no prisoners to be taken today.   

She had hoped to spare Crimson a Mech battle within its limits but it was not to be.  Already Colonel Raventhir had fallen, his Yu Huang held off Precentor Uriel's personal command long enough to evacuate the University of Canopus before the Blakists razed it.  Now she endeavored to buy time for the emergency services to do their jobs and draw attention to herself.

Emma boldly pressed forward had no fear for the Magistracy of Canopus' government it was already widely distributed.  The Word of Blake would have to tie down many units they didn't have to cause it any lasting harm. They could kill her but her daughters and the Magistracy of Canopus would live on.  Hadji Doru was dealing with their other threat, the MHAF, aboard a Warship that could match the Light of Faith.  He or Naomi would return even if the Blakist's captured this world to rescue Erdé and Arthur.

The streets of Crimsons were ablaze, the Canopian Curiassiers had been forced out of the Starport and were pulling Shadow units into less populated or already evacuated sectors of the city.  The Iron Hand had been nearly annihilated but the survivors reorganizing around their Magestrix fighting and dying to give her the best chance of escape or victory however slight or brief.  Blakist ECM broadcast from the WOBS Light of Faith overhead interrupted communication between units and led to many instances of friendly fire in the low visibility environment.

The Canopians were outclassed by the 41st's Elite Mechwarriors and their advanced Battlemechs but knew the terrain better and had infantry to set up ambushes that slowed their enemy.  Thomas had already been lifted off-world and it would be costly but she hoped to kill Precentor Uriel and cut short his reign of terror.  Reports of his modified Dragon Fire still filled her Battlenet although responding units were quickly silenced.

The Lao Hu moved to link up with a friendly tank squad in the sector.  As she cleared the building beyond the Mech took a volley of fire from a group of Purifier Adaptive suits assisting a soot covered Sarissa 3M and a pair of Firebee 4Ls engaging a group of Iron Hand tanks.  The armor was on fire, inferno gel blackening the license built Po tanks.  They must have been freshly ambushed and had been unable to call for help, their sacrifice gave Emma a fighting chance.

Emma fired her Big Bore cannon at the Sarissa the blow knocking the fifty ton combat mech right off its feet, the impact cracked pavement.  The pilot attempted to regain control but she must have hit the gyro as the unit moved like a punch drunk boxer attempting to climb the ropes to a standing position again as it tried to use a nearby building. 

A laser pulse cut across one of the Firebee's torsos leaving behind a white hot streak that rapidly cooled before being struck with a group of long range missiles.  Sixteen inferno gel filled missiles and a pair of large lasers were fired her way.  Some of the missiles impacted spreading their incendiary cargo.  Flames filled the lower portion of her view-screen but fire wouldn't damage her mech it didn't mean that she appreciated it however. 

The Magestrix felt the temperature rise but she was prepared for it.  Her bodysuit had cooling tubes built in and a chill sensation tickled parts of her torso and limbs.  Her Mech's heat level rose into the yellow warning zone, if she kept pushing her mech and didn't evade the Firebee's missiles she was going to be roasted alive in her cockpit.

Her autocannon cycled another round into the chamber, the Firebees had been surprised by her sudden appearance and unfortunately not taken proper evasive action.  She pressed down the firing trigger and felt the familiar recoil, another solid hit turned the light mech into scrap metal but not before its laser and more missiles found their target, despite the burning gel the Mech's heat levels dropped to normal levels.  The other Firebee jumped away but Emma caught it in midair with the cannon.  The wreckage clumsily fell out of sky landing on a parking garage and scattering the cars that had been parked on its top deck.  It skidded to a halt in a burning building before exploding as the missile ammo was set off by the flames.  “Children shouldn't play with fire.”

The downed Sarissa struggled to find it's footing as the still burning Lao Hu stepped forward crushing the stricken mech's cockpit underfoot.  A Dragon Fire stepped out from the smoke, the squat ugly mech was one of the deadliest in the Inner Sphere.  The carapace was a light charcoal gray, like burned bone.  “I guess you're Uriel”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 08 November 2018, 20:58:41
Tommy came out into the light???  Wow!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: snakespinner on 09 November 2018, 00:19:25
Tommy your armless. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Sharpnel on 09 November 2018, 04:24:54
So, this will be how Emma dies, I guess.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 09 November 2018, 08:16:23
Magestrix Emma Centrella's Lao Hu and Precentor Uriel's Dragon Fire stood down the street from one another, the flames of war burned around them consuming Crimson block by block.  The Crimson City Fire Brigade was busy evacuating the citizenry and just let the buildings burn.  The remains of a Iron Hand tank unit still burned, secondary ammunition explosions blasted out the CASE protected doors of their Manticores.

Emma stood over the crushed remains of the Sarissa having kicked its cockpit in and followed through into the building beyond.  She extricated the Lao Hu's foot from the concrete and squared off against the 41st Shadow Division's Commander.  Quickly glancing at her local Battlenet beacons she was looking for additional Iron Hand or Blakist units inbound.  The display was filled with transient ghost contacts ECM interference broadcast from the Light of Faith

“Damn, those Blake Bastards”

She wasn't able to discern the truth and had to assume the worse, she was alone and Uriel had more forces incoming to cut off her escape.  Her ammunition levels and armor were critical, the AC/20 and LRM-15 flashed yellow in the upper right hand corner of her teal and gold neurohelmet's face-plate.  If she ran out all she had was a laser, not enough for any but the lightest foes.

The Magestrix struggled, she had a perfect opportunity to strike another blow at Thomas Marik's twisted Word of Blake.  The sight of him armless and filled with rage after she escaped his grasp brought a smile to her face.  She might not make it out of Crimson but he would always remember that moment at least until his impending demise.  The Dragon Fire began to walk forward, a magnesium bright flash of his Gauss rifle firing in her direction. 

The agile Lao Hu managed to evade the projectile which smashed into the building behind her creating a 2 meter wide hole in the concrete.  She fired off the last volley of missiles and saw the LRM-15's status turn a deathly gray in her HUD.  A dozen missiles and her laser struck true splashing the enemy Battlemech but the weapons just tickled its thick hide, the Dragon Fire shrugged the damage off and kept advancing, slowly, methodically, with the intent to kill her.

The problem was that she had to get past Uriel to reach the rally point and hoped to link up with the remaining Iron Hand units in the city and fight their way clear. 
“Let's dance Wobbie.” 
She pushed the Lao Hu to the limit running toward the Battlemech spitting Gauss rounds and white hot Plasma death her way.  The Liao built cavalry mech charged to close the distance, Emma needed to bring her big gun and its final two rounds into play staying far away and trying to circle would be death. 

She had been pushing her luck today but thus far it had gone in her favor, “Fortune favors the Bold” was her Mech start up phrase.  She caught herself prayed that her luck would hold at least for the next few minutes, after that it was all up to the Goddess.  The Lao Hu pressed forward leaving giant foot prints in the ash covered ground, the AC/20 roared once causing the Dragon Fire to roll to the side but it maintained its footing.  It fired again crumbling the left leg that had already been damaged earlier in the battle, Uriel wasn't able to maintain his standing engagement posture dropping to a knee with a crash as Emma's Lao Hu passed. 

The Mech stood back up as she disengaged, the Dragon Fire's arms flipped and fired behind the unit.  Emma's mech took the hits and kept moving toward the rally point.  She needed to get a new mech, her Grasshopper was located beneath the Athena Compound where the Senior Colonels of the MAF and remaining Canopian Curaissers were fighting for their lives.

Her battered mech entered the square, the center of which had a grand statue of Athena Nike standing tall over the square, the winged goddess raising her golden spear in victory and crowned with laurels.  The spear was darkened and the statue had been damaged by battle but still her spear was in hand facing defiantly across the Bay of Altay toward the original Canopian capital city of Delphi. 

One of the Senior Colonels piloting a heavily damaged Phoenix Hawk reached out to her via point to point, “Magestrix, you still live think the goddess.”

“No you can thank Fortuna today, assuming we are lucky enough to make it to sundown.”
“The Forty First Shadow Division is withdrawing Magestrix.  We are victorious.”
“I fear not Vela.  They still have a warship in orbit and we don’t have any more fighters to scramble.”

Almost as if the Light of Faith had been listening in to the exchange a warning came in from the planetary Early Warning RADAR. “Multiple nuclear missile strike incoming, three minutes”

A countdown timer appeared in the lower right hand corner of her faceplate.  Panic spread throughout the survivors, “We can make it to the bunker!”
“No we can’t.  Even if we could, it cannot survive a pair of direct blasts and The Master knows that.”
“What do we do Emma?!”
“Make peace with yourself.”

Magestrix Emma Centrella put the Canopian national anthem, Prevail through Grace, on the local battlenet and opened the cockpit hatch.  Clambering out with her neurohelmet in hand she shook her hair loose, sat down legs dangling from the top of her Mech, and looked out across the Bay rather than at the burning city soon to be reduced to ruin from above, just like her it was helpless against the dark forces working against it. 

The haunting melody of the anthem was so unlike the bright and cheerful people that inhabited its realm; composed in the dark days of the “Reunification” War that saw the Magistracy oppressed for refusing to join the Star League.  It reminded the Canopian people that their freedoms were hard won and fragile, always in danger of slipping away and being lost once more.  Even though their battles during that War were fought “by the rules” the Magistracy never fully recovered, its once glittering cities turned gray and pirates came out of the dark to prey upon its people. 

It was Emma’s life’s work to never allow such a thing to happen again and she had done her best.  She was not about to allow the Word of Blake’s Master the satisfaction of her compliance at the cost of her conscience.  She was her own Master and answered to none.

Reaching into the pocket of her suit she pulled out a picture of her, Nicholas, and their four children as teenagers taken not far from where she now sat.  The once cerulean skies were now filled with black smoke, the sapphire waters of Altay slick with gray ash, but she was still smiling.  “Goodbye loves, I pray I don’t see you all for a long time.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 09 November 2018, 08:28:22
Epic entry, AlphaMirage.  You should make a fan novel/book of all your enties.
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 09 November 2018, 09:52:59
Epic entry, AlphaMirage.  You should make a fan novel/book of all your enties.

When it's all done I'll release a PDF of my draft, had to skip lots of potentially interesting character stories to get through.  This portion is just heavy on the combat which is boring to write, but literally the Universe is at War everywhere.

Final entry on the Canopians for a little while, Curatis will be next then back to Peter, Yvonne, and the Hellions

09/21/3069 15:47 Location – Acropolis Park, New Pindus Mountain Range, Canopus IV, Magistracy of Canopus

Arthur Steiner-Davion’s Thug Battlemech continued its trek through Acropolis Park, a restored wilderness area beyond Delphi that was once heavily mined for gems.  Emma had ordered him to take Erdé out of Delphi using his newly upgraded mech during a phone call he had received early this morning but not to tell her why.  She had also explained something of the situation to him, all he knew was a Blakist Warship was overhead, The Word of Blake’s Master was looking for him, and Emma would do her best to ensure he didn’t get either of them.

Of course Erdé had protested when they headed out this morning.  She had a busy day scheduled and he had to get very creative when she asked for reasons before she finally acquiesced and adjusting her calendar.  It had been a beautiful day until around one pm when he started to receive updates from a battle going on in Crimson across the Bay of Altay, just to his comm-unit however; he isolated his girlfriend from the reports of a pitched battle going on and the far odds her mother was facing within it. 

He kept pushing forward but now they were far above the mountains of Acropolis Park and Erdé’s small seat behind him had access to her own screen with a clear view across the bay.  Arthur silently cursed himself.  They should have kept to the lower passes but he had told her they were going sight-seeing and there was nothing but gray stone and scrubby trees down there. “Arthur there’s smoke rising from across the Bay!  Crimson is burning!”

It took all his will to keep the lie going, “I’m sure it’s just a wildfire, they will get it under control Erdé.”

Besteria!  Arthur what is going on?  Stop lying to me!  You’ve been acting strange all day.”

Just then missile alert triggered for Crimson and since it was an emergency announcement from MAF High Command right to the DI it bypassed his communication quarantine.  “Multiple nuclear missile strike incoming, three minutes.”  A countdown clock appeared on every screen.

She was struck silent for a whole minute and Arthur struggled to contain his own fears.  Emma said the Warship might use its 35 centimeter capital lasers to damage the city but she hadn’t anticipated a multiple nuclear missile strike. 

Erdé clawed at the console even as Arthur disengaged the external comm array with an operator lock.  Such a thing was unnecessary as the DI computer was engaging its nuclear protective posture overriding any commands Arthur could give to the contrary that might endanger the unit or himself.  The Thug crouched to protect itself and its bulky arms moved to shield the cockpit from high speed debris. 

The armored cowling that was engaged in a combat situation dropped covering the ferroglaz and putting the interior cockpit into a red light condition as most external sensor feeds pulled in on powered down to protect themselves from EMP.  Critical systems moved to standby mode and shut down leaving only the reactor, basic sensors, and gyro operational.  A basic camera dome showing a high rez image of what was going on outside was projected it on the main view-screen.

She unbuckled herself and shifted towards him unable to fully stand in the cramped cockpit, glistening tears in her eyes, “No!  I have to talk to my mother!”
Arthur removed his Neurohelmet, turning his command chair around, and pulled her sobbing body to him.  He cradled her head in his shoulder to ensure she didn’t see what was about to happen. “You can’t.  Even if I knew where she was, or if she still lived, and could reactivate the comm array I wouldn’t.  The Word of Blake might track the signal and that would put us both in danger.  Your mother told me to keep you safe and intend to carry out her final order. 

I’m sorry Erdé.”

Even though Arthur had closed his eyes and wasn’t looking at the screen he saw bright white flashes (Six Peacemaker 500 kiloton nuclear weapons, ( fill the cockpit and held tighter while trying to cover her eyes.  Long moments passed before her voice came out with a squeak, “What are we going to do now Arthur?”

He wiped her eyes with his handkerchief and turned around, the Thug’s systems were coming back online, the armored cowling lifted up to empty bright blue skies filled with a half dozen white mushroom clouds, “Make sure her sacrifice was worth it and it doesn’t happen again.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 09 November 2018, 10:33:20
Man. The Master wanted Arthur bad!!
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 09 November 2018, 20:12:44
If someone ripped my arms off, I'd probably nuke them too...
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 12 November 2018, 07:29:55
If someone ripped my arms off, I'd probably nuke them too...

She simply melted his arms off, gosh its not like he could feel it.


10/17/3069 Location – Ishtar’s Treasures, Samantha City, Taurus, Taurian Concordat

Ishtar’s Treasures occupied a quiet corner in an upscale part of Samantha, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the center of town, the relatively plain exterior would go without notice but was immaculately crafted. The store was popular with Taurian Military, Industrial, and Government Elites who regularly shopped for more exotic and expensive blends from Isthar and other planets in the Concordat of which there was no small variety or advice from its proprietor. 

Little did they know that while Agent Curatis’ home-world (Wildwood) did have excellent wines, it was in the Magistracy of Canopus; not the Hyades Cluster like he said.  If they know they would have been far more guarded, but they were foolish to think they would stand a chance against the AFFC.  Blindsiding a Commonwealth already at war and getting their early victories gave them too much hope.  Yvonne was not her sister or brother but nor was timid enough to allow that transgression to stand.  Not while their cousin George Hasek, Duke of New Syrtis, could theoretically seize the Federated Suns at the first sign of weakness from either sister.

The current Director of Taurian Naval Intelligence, the third one this quarter, was currently in the store browsing with expert guidance from its humble yet well-dressed proprietor.  He was entertaining Precentor Anjelica Mauve of the Blakist 22nd Division in four days and wanted something that would make an impression on the influential woman. 

Precentor Mauve wielded massive influence over the Protector but was oily and seemed to amuse herself by playing the Concordat’s Elites against one another for her own.  Curatis thought he had seen the dark skinned woman before he features certainly marked her as Canopian but couldn’t place her.  She even used similar methods to a MIM Officer but not to the ends that the Magistracy valued.  He had to move cautiously to eliminate her lest ROM find out.

The Word’s malign influence of which she more symptom than cause had forced many officers and nobles to defect to the breakaway Calderon Protectorate and flee the Junta.  Others silently watched and waited, torn between their patriotic duty to the Calderon family and their long standing ancestral grievances against the Federated Suns and its Davion dynasty. 

The Protector’s mercurial style, paranoia, and the resulting high turnover for senior staff was bad for continued sensible government but good for the intelligence collection and expensive foodstuffs market, both of which Curatis excelled at. 

He held a bottle of Ishtar Gold, 3003, balancing the bottle between his hands, “This is an excellent vintage Julian.  Nice bite, exquisite with fish.  I am certain she will be pleased with your fine taste.”

The slight man took the bottle carefully from Curatis rolling the chilled clear glass bottle in his hands.  “You wouldn’t happen to know of a fishmonger worth his salt in this city Liam.  I haven’t had a good selection since New Vallis.”

‘Liam’ went back behind the desk leaving the TMI Director fondling the bottle of Ishtar Gold, he returned with a business card.  “I have heard great things about this fellow.  Though I haven’t tried his wares in person yet, a bit too high priced for me.”

“Consider yourself invited Liam, you may even run the whole agenda I had to get rid of my butler recently.  Since my transfer to Taurus I haven’t had much time to meet new people outside work.  It would be a bore to have nothing but stuffed shirts at my dinner party.”

Curatis knew about the butler, ROM picked him up last week.  The investigators would assume that he was responsible for some of the compromised operatives in the TMI. However, Curatis had compromised his controller shortly after accepting this assignment and took his place.  MIM Officers running Mask agents was surprisingly common, the purges of the Liao family having mortally compromised its ability.  Normally they knew it was happening though, something that in this hazardous territory could not be allowed to happen.

Liam carefully thought through his options, an invitation to the highest echelons of the Concordat Intelligence community and a chance at Anjelica Mauve was too good to be true.  It could be a trap though, the Precentor expecting that the Mask would send another agent into the household to further compromise it now that their agent in place was uncovered.  “I would be honored to help you Mr. Bisset.  I humbly accept your invitation.  Why don’t you come into the back and we talk about it.”
“Thank you Mr. Durand.”

Liam opened the door to the rear office and showed his now guest to the rich leather chair on the other side of the desk.  He walked through the store returning the Ishtar Gold to its cooler and flipped the sign of his establishment.  “Closed for Business but always Open for Opportunity.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 14 November 2018, 14:32:50
10/21/3069 Location – Private Residence, Samantha City, Taurus, Taurian Concordat

Curatis monitored the K-5 Black Box fax machine he had smuggled into the Concordat with him.  A gift for his unwavering service from the late Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion that he decided to hang onto after the man was gone.  ONI had been trying to track him down to return the incredibly restricted piece of equipment but he was always just out of their reach.  He was lucky reports had come in that Commonwealth Covert Ops teams were attempting to recover the known Black Boxes and associated infrastructure in the Draconis Combine to maintain their monopoly to varying success.

Because the HPG system was still down and due to the general state of war throughout the Inner Sphere interstellar trade and military coordination were at an all-time low.  The Commonwealth Fleet’s naval code stations already used the super-liminal Black Box Fax Machines to transmit critical data. These devices were very limited compared to COMSTAR or The Word of Blake’s Interstellar HPG network that had enabled faster than light communication for centuries.  However their systems were failing and due to the Black Boxes the Commonwealth had a major edge over their competitors.

Each Black Box was secured aboard a Mobile Station associated with an ONI dropship, heavily modified Seekers mounting advanced EW and scanning equipment, heavier armor, greater weaponry, and carrying specialist equipment and personnel.  These nearly 30 mobile stations (average of 6 per theater) were temporarily assigned as part of an AFFC Task Force or based at a regional powerhouse world. 

In addition to these were permanent stations at each Capital World’s (Tikonov, New Avalon, and Tharkad) Strategic Command, on all five Core Fleet Bases (Alarion, Donegal, New Hessen, Kathil, and Chirikof), and aboard Archon-Princess Katherine’s (code-sign: Rachel, *cough meaningful) dropship Princess of Avalon.  A mobile station was also exclusively assigned to Yvonne SD (cs:  Red Rover) and Reinhardt Steiner (cs:  Rhino) due to their frequent need to travel and wide ranging responsibilities.

Two days ago he had received the following transcript and decoded it.  He didn’t receive codebooks anymore but had memorized most of the tricks ONI used to encode messages in case someone was eavesdropping over hyperspace.  The last few messages were ill omens for the Concordat’s future.

“ONI TK (Tommyknocker) reports Perdition operation success.  7th and 8th Corps are routed or destroyed.  The Lion’s Pride took heavy casualties, is holding, but will soon be reinforced.”
“ONI RC (Redcap) reports CMC MATADOR repelled Bulls from Pleiades.  Now containing Rob’s (Robsart) Theater”
“ONI MN (Mischief Night) reports 4F PAMPLONA moving from Brom(head) to Roost.”
“ONI SF (Sly Fox) reports ICEBLOCK has reoccupied Crofton, Red Rover deescalates with Hellions.

The Taurian Concordat would lose this war sooner rather than later and the Word of Blake knew it, perhaps even anticipated it.  They had poured so many resources into the TDF but it was not enough, the AFFC had more and better.  Once the Junta heard about it there was nothing they could do but damage control.

Curatis' phone rang, the caterer was en route and thus he had to put a pause to his long term operation in favor of a short term one.  He opened the floor safe and returned the unit to its hiding place.  It was raining outside as he pulled out and headed toward the Director's house. 

The residence was an austere manor hidden behind a tall brick wall topped with snarling vines and strategically placed lattices to obscure sight and make it harder to use laser microphones to eavesdrop on conversations within.  There were numerous other unseen security systems in use that Curatis was familiar with but he was an honored guest this evening.  As soon as he drove through the wrought iron gate and past its guards the hardest part was already complete.

A young man wearing the smart looking burgundy Concordat Constable's uniform with black gloves waited as he pulled up.  Liam stepped out and presented his Taurus Planetary ID when requested, the man tapped the card against a gauntlet comm-pad and a green light showed it was cleared, “Apologies sir, I have to wand you, final check.”

“Of course Constable Toure.  Can't have just anyone walking into the Director's Mansion.  You'll stay plenty busy tonight.”

The man used the scanning wand to ensure there were no metal or ceramic weapons on his person as well as active signal transmitters.  “I hope not so much, Cornet Balens has this place locked down, the Director, Precentor, and guests do not need to worry about anything. 

You're clear to continue on Mr. Durand.  The valet will take your vehicle to the parking area and return it when you are ready to depart.  I will send for you when the caterers arrive.  Until then Director Bisset has requested your presence in the parlor.  Third door on the right, the one with the white trim.”

Curatis found the associated door and spent the time talking with the Director about tonight’s agenda.  Director Bisset again made the offer to Liam to be his butler.  An offer he kindly refused but Liam would be happy to interview candidates for the job, for a modestly inflated fee, and make referrals to the man’s Chief of Security for clearance approval.

A uniformed ROM team arrived prior to the Precentor, although Curatis figured there were likely plenty of their agents within the Constabulary for counter-intelligence purposes.  The white clad figures wore the Iota badge of Internal Security, the monk bodyguards for ranking Precentors. They didn’t talk much, communicating via a series of subtle gestures to one another.  The walked around asking questions before taking up stations thoughout the residence to monitor the Constables and protect their Principal, WOB Precentor V-Gamma Concordat Mauve.

The Precentor arrived after everyone else on the guest list, most of the guests including 'Mr. Liam Durand, Wine Broker' having to undergo formal (or informal) screening by Concordat and Word of Blake personnel.  She was immediately beset with questions but asked for a glass of wine before taking a seat to address them.  Later Liam heard that the wine was complimented from one of the serving staff.  It filled Curatis with pride, “I always do love compliments.  It’s a pity that my enemies have such good taste, makes it ever so slightly harder to kill them.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 15 November 2018, 08:17:54
10/18/3069 17:39 Location – StarCorps Chateau, Crofton, Federation Outback

Grand Duchess Yvonne Steiner-Davion stood just outside the gates of a beautiful coastal chateau.  Her short auburn hair blowing in the chill winds coming off the sea.  Her tan flight suit blunted the chill air but she still shifted and wishing she had brought a scarf or her jacket to keep warm.  The last thing she needed was to face a Clan Khan while shaking like a leaf. 

The sound of waves breaking on the rocks made her uncomfortable now which only added to the uncertainty she was feeling the sound bringing up bad memories from her captivity on New Avalon that were always just below her otherwise bubbly exterior.  She had recently decided to never step fourth on that planet again unless it was pay respects to her father.  There were already enough things tearing at her far away from that fateful planet.

Despite her discomfort there were practical reasons for the selected venue.   The Chateau grounds could be easily isolated, positioned as it was on a cape that jutted out into Bethsbath Bay.  The perimeter walls and Chateau proper bore visible and sometimes major damage from the battle to capture and recapture it from the Hellions.  The gardens and paved parking circle were burned from the wildfires that raged here just a month ago some set by Hellion Salamander Elementals as they withdrew, others were naturally occurring from lightning strikes on the chaparral.

Flanking her were the 141st Armored Marines most of whom were in armor and a lance of Roughnecks, the brutish looking Battlemechs striking in the fading light.  Her friend Captain Devlin Stone stood at parade rest in his naval battledress with the black beret of the Orbital Combat Corps.  While she had hardly changed he was completely different than how she remembered him at Point Barrow.  The Orbital Combat Corps had been heavily deployed for almost three years with precious few breaks in between and his features showed that wear, but also the pride he felt that they continued to win far more than they lost.

Yvonne checked her the time on her utilitarian but cute pilot's watch, the bezel bearing PBMA coat of arms, “Ten minutes Devlin”

“I think they will be early Yvonne.”
“Just rust me he'll be early.”

The Observation Post watching one of the approaches reported in, “Your Grace, a Nova of Blinding Keshik inbound, five minutes at their current speed.”

Yvonne looked at Devlin, “What?  Their clan philosophy is all about being there first and in force.  If we had chosen somewhere closer to them they would have beaten us here.  We used helicopters and only just beat them.”

She had to shake her head, “Clanners are so weird.”

“Aye, ma'am, wouldn't tell it to your sister though.”
“I'll always speak my mind to my sister.  Captain.”
“Aye ma'am”

A Nova of Hellions arrived at their agreed upon point, Two Hellions, a Koshi, Viper, and Black Lanner along with a Star of Salamander Elementals.  The 141st Armored Marines moved to protect the Grand Duchess from a potential double cross from the paired flamers and inferno SRM launcher of the unit.  Just one of the fifty flamers on-site would result in the massive overkill of the AFFC delegation present.

One of the charcoal gray Salamanders stepped forward and stopped, its operator initiated a field evac of the unit.  The operator, a pale, incredibly fit handsome tall man with steel blue eyes and short blonde hair wearing a gray sleeveless shirt and fatigue pants exited.  Yvonne had never seen an Elemental Phenotype before and this was not what she had expected from the reports, he was big but no larger than a Spheroid Armored Infantryman like Devlin.  He was in great shape and the scars of his many fights made him particularly interesting to the unhappily single for more than a year Grand Duchess.  She muttered something under her breath while trying not to look overtly interested.

The man sent a hand signal to the Black Lanner he rode in on and the machine powered down.  Yvonne signaled to her own mechs who powered down after a moment of hesitation.  The man walked across the gap boldly as if he was about to accept the Commonwealth's surrender rather than coming to terms with the Grand Duchess that had pressed his Clan to the end of Annihilation.  He slowed and stopped two meters from them looking at the towering Devlin Stone that stood near the petite Yvonne Steiner-Davion.  “Captain Stone, I see you survived the battle.”

“Your Touman almost saw that I didn’t a few times Khan Drake.  I hope you bear me no hard feelings after Klondike.”
“None, we both understand the Warrior Code.”

Yvonne stepped into the conversation, she was ranking individual present and wanted to get inside where it was warmer.  She didn’t have time for macho posturing although she wanted to make some, maybe a nice shirtless wrestling match, “Khan Drake, I am pleased you decided to accept my invitation to parley. This conflict doesn’t need to be an Annihilation, but I cannot have your Hellions occupying my territory without consequence.”

“Of course.  Your Legions fought well Grand Duchess Steiner-Davion, as did you.  Your choice of the Donar as your weapon is admirable.  The helicopter was of Hellion design long ago before we lost it during one of our civil wars. 

The Hellions mean you and your Commonwealth no continuing ill will.  We are losing according to our rules and yours and followed the rules of engagement throughout our conflict.  The pirates were not so agreeable and it is regrettable we had to take such extreme measures with them.”

Yvonne looked away a moment muttered “not really” under her breath.  Xander didn’t seem to pay much attention distracted as he was with his oratory. 

“However just because I come under a flag of parley does not mean I will sell out my Clan as the Nova Cats did to the Combine.  We still occupy the StarCorps facility that you want and you will have to give us something worthwhile in exchange to leave it without a fight.”

“You are attempting to extort the Commonwealth to save your Clan?  That doesn't seem like something a proper Clan Khan would do.”

“I never claimed to be a proper anything but Elemental Warrior.  The other candidates for Khan were 'lacking,' they had no vision, someone needed to step up and lead the Clan.  It is my privilege that they continue to allow me to do so. 

We both know you cannot liberate the facility without major damage and I cannot break out of it.  I took the facility by proper trial with the StarCorps Security Services and this planet's garrison.  It belongs to the Hellions, if you want it returned you must give me something in return or we go back to fighting.”

“Why should we expect you do anything Khan Drake?  You could break out using your Fleet.”
“Perhaps but my Fleet cannot hold ground and the battle would weaken my Touman gravely, the next battle would break us.  I try to think a few more steps ahead of the Clan Warriors you might have heard about.”
“You are unlike any Clan Warrior I have seen, which has admittedly been few.  Why so diplomatic?”
“I know your strength is not limitless but it is vast.  I am making a deal while I still have leverage.”
“Very well Alexander. Why don't you come inside for a drink?  We should be able to find a solution that is mutually beneficial.”
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 15 November 2018, 17:45:48
11/05/3069 13:48 Location – Samantha City, Taurus, Taurian Concordat

With the news that the TDF was losing and the declaration by the AFFC that it was positioning itself to deliver the deathblow to a revanchist Concordat unless it accepted Duke George Hasek(-Davion)'s terms.  Complete demobilization of the TDF and a ten year military occupation to prevent further aggression on the part of the Protector, a final humiliation or annihilation. 

The Capellan Confederation had been forced to renounce their claims to the now deceased Candace Allard-Liao's St Ives Compact, taken by force years ago, the new realm was to be ruled by her daughter Kuan Yin.  The young woman was the only one to whom politics was of interest, her brother the legendary Kai Allard-Liao had gone missing, her older sister Cassandra became and married a mercenary, and her younger brother was following in his father and grandfather's footsteps.  Surely the boy could have no better mentor that the legendary Intelligence Director Quintus Allard, a man for whom Curatis had great respect and a healthy fear.

Additionally Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao, sensing weakness and opportunity tasked his beleaguered CCAF to engage in a systematic campaign with the goal of eliminating the WOB from his realm.  Curatis figured the “Snake of Sian” meant to spin it to the Archon-Princess that he was an “ally” and thus deserving of mercy despite his previous behavior which could be blamed on the Blakists or other unsavory characters. 

Unwelcome news arrived via leaked new reports of War Crimes during the Pleaides campaign, fuel-air bombing and indiscriminate artillery bombardment use against civilian cities, nuclear weapons use by the Fleet, forced disappearance, torture, and arson in addition to poison gas and bioagents.  It was looking like this would be a return of the Reunification War but this time the Taurians brought their misery upon themselves.  The TDF was being forced to pull out all the stops once the situation turned against them rather than admit they failed the Protector against the Concordat's ancient “enemy”.

These reports were authentic, smuggled in beneath ROM and the TMI's careful screening by MIM and MIIO operatives.  Before they could contain it the news went viral at least on Taurus. Curatis was unable to confirm with his associates elsewhere in the realm but figured the same thing would happen.  Without a threat of interdiction there was no reason to fear the heavily dispersed Word of Blake.  There were even rumors spread that COMSTAR had already fixed the problem, Curatis wasn't responsible for that but sometimes all it took was a little massaging of the facts.  Maybe it was even true, he had no idea nor truly cared. 

This operation might be the master spy's greatest achievement, he leveraged all his skills and contacts within the Federated Suns to seal Protector Grover Shraplen's fate.  Without lifting a weapon he had cut out a black heart and hopefully the Concordat would heal from the trauma in time.  George Hasek was ambitious but he was not overtly cruel.  Yvonne would keep him in line, she had developed an edge to her that would be beneficial in her future even if she never went past being Grand Duchess.

With the Word of Blake 22nd Militia Division, ROM assets, and their technical staff recalled there was nothing that could stop the impending coup.  The battles lasted three days and resulted in half the city being heavily damaged, the authorities were still counting the bodies.  The enigmatic man in black walked past a group of ragged SCPD wearing military hazmat suits and gas masks.  They were the lucky unlucky ones, most of the populace turned against the police during the riots, it was brutal.  These ones were given the grim task of collecting and tagging bodies from the initial riots, hardly considered bodies after the firepower they endured.

The smell was overwhelming and Curatis had to put his nose into a perfumed handkerchief to make it through.  The Junta loyalists used their Battlemechs against unarmed protesters until their guns ran dry and the rivers red.  The loyalists were opposed by TDF forces who finally had enough to Shraplen's excesses.  The brutal response and fact that he was abandoned by the Word of Blake gave them the opening they had always wished for.

Curatis stopped in the middle of the “Bull's Run”, the large park filled with monuments and lined with museums that also connected the Protector's Palace, Taurus' Planetary Parliament, the Taurian Concordat's Supreme Court of Appeals, and the Concordat Central Bank.  The area was a battlefield, blackened Battlemechs, crashed aircraft, and blasted vehicles were visible among the once grand trees, green grass, and carefully manicured gardens that just days ago were filled with fall color.  Now the only colors were gray and black with little smatterings of red.

He picked up a mum flower, the only specimen in its bed that was not trampled during the conflict.  “Still finding beauty, even in a battlefield.”

Curatis stopped at the Victor Taurens and Samantha Calderon memorial in the middle of the park, he spent a moment to study the words inscribed on its base finding them oddly reassuring. 

Samantha Calderon's fateful words in the base, “Here we make a stand against the tyranny of the Terra Hegemony and its allies that seek to enslave us in all but name.  This is the first step in a long journey to freedom.  Such a challenge full of fear and wrought with danger.  It will be hard but all endeavors of worth are worthy of sacrifice. 

Do not fear the darkness we find here.  See it as opportunity to expand our civilizing light to the void.  Always remember to be proud of our struggles for they are among the noblest of pursuits.  Words of Samantha Calderon, uttered here January 16, 2253.  First Assembly of the Calderon Expedition.

Former Protector Grover Shraplen's dead body hung just like the ancient pictures of the Terran Benito Mussolini along with those of his Junta's inner circle.  TMI Director Bisset wisely defected, he required little prodding after their long conversations.  “Job well done mate, I hope Emma is okay.  This is gonna get messy.”

The newsfeed on his government issued comm-pad rang out with a major alert.  The fighting was over so the civil authorities shouldn't have anything of interest to send him.  He opened the device, “Taurus is in the path of an approaching asteroid.  The body is being actively accelerated toward the planet, date of impact at current rate is 11/20/3069 at 08:47 Zulu time, target Samantha Metropolitan Area.  Orbital Defense Corps assets are dark, Word of Blake Vessels refuse hails, no reports from Z/N recharge stations.  Updates due at 17:00.”

This was going to be worse then he thought, nuclear weapons were one thing, you could shoot those down but you cannot stop an asteroid especially one being actively accelerated.  This had to related to the Newgrange Eriynes, he had uncovered some material that ROM had shared with the TMI when the vessel was deployed to assist in mining operations throughout the Concordat.  The massive converted Yardship could attach thrusters capable of re-positioning asteroids and the Taurus system was littered with them.  Without the Taurian Fleet here to help there was little the inhabitants of the planet could do but bunker down.  However, maybe he could get help.

Curatis ran to a pile of police motorcycles quickly bypassed its system and screeched across the battered streets of the capital to his safe-house.  He pulled the black box out and typed out a message encoding it with the legacy code that was assigned to Victor Steiner-Davion.  “Come on old friend, I hope you can help the Inner Sphere one last time.”  He switched the transmission to go out on all four channels the device was capable of projecting across.  “Godspeed”

End of Book II.  Book III, Price of Victory starts Monday
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: mikecj on 16 November 2018, 08:18:18
Nice.  Thanks for sharing
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: Wrangler on 16 November 2018, 16:02:06
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: DOC_Agren on 18 November 2018, 19:59:09
Curatis, what are you expect Victor to do in 15 days? 

You need 1 or 2 warships with LB within 120 Lightyears
Title: Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
Post by: AlphaMirage on 18 November 2018, 20:03:01
Curatis, what are you expect Victor to do in 15 days? 

You need 1 or 2 warships with LB within 120 Lightyears

Well Victor is dead. He knows that there is a Commonwealth Task Force en route to Regis' Roost that could potentially make it.